HC Deb 11 July 1949 vol 467 c5
4. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will make an up-to-date statement regarding progress in the erection of the new Bankside power station.

Mr. Gaitskell

I am informed by the British Electricity Authority that part of the foundations are now completed, and that the erection of the steelwork of the main building will start in the autumn.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Can my right hon. Friend say anything about the outcome of the experiments which have been undertaken to eliminate noxious sulphur fumes from this plant?

Mr. Gaitskell

As I have explained previously, there was never any doubt that such fumes could be eliminated. The purpose of the experiments was to decide by what means they should be eliminated. The experiments are not yet completed.

Mr. Somerville Hastings

Have these noxious fumes ever been eliminated from any such plant in this country?

Mr. Gaitskell

As I have previously pointed out, there is a gas washing plant in operation at Battersea power station.

Mr. Keeling

Does not the Minister recall that in this House 18 months ago he said that the power station: will not be completed unless we are satisfied that no sulphur fumes will be produced"?—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th February, 1948; Vol. 446, c. 1879.] How can the right hon. Gentleman be satisfied if the experiments are not complete?

Mr. Gaitskell

The experiments confirm that they can be eliminated. There is, however, the question of cost involved—as to which of two methods it is better to adopt.

Captain Crookshank

If the experiments show that these fumes can be eliminated can there be any doubt as to whether they will be eliminated?

Mr. Gaitskell

Obviously not.