HC Deb 13 November 1950 vol 480 cc1365-6
25. Mr. Henry Hopkinson

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in the case of isolated farms where the financial cost of supplying electricity by the grid system is prohibitive, he will make a statement as to the directions which he proposes to give to the British Electricity Authority, with a view to encouraging the area boards to supply and operate modern diesel plants covering small inhabited localities.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

It is the duty of the British Electricity Authority and of the area boards to decide what is the best method of supplying electric current to any particular consumer. I could not, therefore, issue any general directions of the kind which the hon. Member has proposed. But if he has any suggestions to make about some special place or district, I am sure that the area board concerned will be glad to consider it.

Mr. Amory

Will the Minister bear in mind that if area boards are further encouraged to consider this alternative, it would bring hope to a good many areas which have very little hope of getting an electricity supply in the near future in the ordinary way?

Mr. Noel-Baker

In the present state of capital investment it would be difficult to deal with the remote areas, whatever we do. But it may comfort the hon. Member to know that I hope that this year we shall have a rural development getting on for double that which we had in 1938.