HC Deb 08 February 1954 vol 523 cc810-1
16. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of the reasons which have led to the proposal to transfer the functions of the British Electricity Authority and also two Electricity Boards in Scotland from his Department to the Department of the Secretary of State for Scotland, he will now set up a committee including Welsh experts to investigate whether similar advantages would accrue from the setting up of a Welsh Electricity Authority and a Wales Electricity Board, having some measure of autonomy.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

The present organisation for electricity in Wales was established for sound technical reasons, derived largely from geographical features which are quite different from those found in Scotland, and as I told my hon. Friend in reply to a similar Question on 27th April, 1953, I am not contemplating any changes.

Mr. Gower

Does the Minister agree that this is a reasonable Question, in all the circumstances? Can he explain why Scotland, with Ministerial encouragement, is striding forward to all kinds of administrative devolution while we in Wales have to beg for the smallest concession? Will he note that the Question merely asks for an inquiry?

Mr. Lloyd

I consider it a most reasonable Question. The main difficulty is the central mass of mountains in Wales which makes it uneconomic to distribute from north to south.

Mr. Palmer

Would the Minister agree that the Question exposes the absurdity of the Scottish proposal?

Mr. Nabarro

Nothing of the sort.

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