§ 43. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that the South-Western Electricity Board are refusing to buy home grown timber transmission poles, on the ground that they are only interested in imported red fir; and whether he will include in the allocation of poles to the British Electricity Authority a proportion of home-grown timber poles.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
The South-Western Electricity Board have not refused to buy home-grown transmission poles since none have been offered. The Board's inquiries have been for imported red fir, where they are available, since they have a much longer life. The allocation of poles to users is already made on the basis of merchants' stocks, which include imported and home-grown poles, and it would not be practicable to stipulate what proportion of home-grown poles the electricity boards should take.
§ Mr. Thornton-Kemsley
Would the Minister be surprised to know that the South-Western Electricity Board were, in fact, recently offered home-grown poles which were absolutely satisfactory and that they replied in writing saying they were only buying imported red fir poles?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Yes, Sir. If the hon. Member will send the information, I will look into it. My information is that none were offered. There are, in fact, only 100 home-grown poles in the merchants' stocks.