HC Deb 20 July 1954 vol 530 cc1160-2
33. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Works if he has now concluded a satisfactory arrangement with the manufacturers of atomically driven electric plant, with a view to ensuring that this country remains in the forefront of world development, that new ideas are immediately applied and that the needs of customers are met.

Sir D. Eccles

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power on 28th June.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Things have moved a little in this respect since then. Is the right hon. Gentleman now satisfied that this country will not be left behind in this development as it has been in hydro-electrification? Can he give an assurance that the closest possible co-operation exists between the Ministries and the concerns responsible for manufacturing this kind of plant?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir. Discussions are continually taking place with both the British Electricity Authority and the manufacturers of this type of plant. We believe that we are ahead of other countries.

Mr. Nabarro

Did not the Minister of Fuel and Power recently announce that a special department of the British Electricity Authority was being established to deal with the application of nucleonics to the generation of electric power, and is not that adequate in all the circumstances?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Harold Davies

Are we at present negotiating, like the Americans are, with Canadian uranium interests? Is there any possibility of keeping the basic price of uranium round about 7.2 dollars per lb.? The present price is about 11.5 dollars. Can the right hon. Gentleman guarantee that there will be control of the uranium ore in the interests of productivity for the people?

Sir D. Eccles

The hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is connected with the previous Question.

Mr. Davies

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, is not my question not only connected with the previous Question but also very relevant to the Question which has just been answered?

Mr. Speaker

It is very difficult to understand.

Mr. Davies

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise the subject on the Adjournment at the first opportunity.