HC Deb 19 March 1951 vol 485 cc2090-1
25. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is now satisfied that the publicity activities of the electricity and gas industries are being properly co-ordinated with his own appeal for economy in the consumption of these fuels.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he gave an assurance on 1st February to the effect that previous advertising policy had been reversed, and on that very day there was a case of a consumer in Essex receiving a document advertising the hire-purchase terms of six heat consuming mechanisms from the North Thames Gas Board?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Some of the new appliances save a great deal of gas. If an old cooker is replaced by a new cooker, 40 per cent. of gas is saved, and I would be reluctant to stop that.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Does the answer mean that the right hon. Gentleman has given up the assurance which he gave on 1st February, that he would exercise his authority to discourage the sale on hire-purchase terms of fuel-consuming appliances?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I think that the hon. Gentleman had better look it up again.

Captain Ryder

If these appliances save fuel, why is there a Purchase Tax of 66⅔ per cent. on gas water heaters?