HC Deb 15 November 1954 vol 533 c10
16. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if, in view of the large sums of money which have had to be provided by the nationalised fuel and power industries for the establishment of the new Fuel Efficiency Company, and the objections raised, he will reconsider his previous decision against a levy to enable private industry to contribute to the funds of the company.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

No, Sir.

Mr. Palmer

Is it not wrong in principle that privately-owned industry, which stands to gain so much financially and otherwise from increased fuel efficiency, should not bear some share of the cost of this service? Did not the Ridley Committee recommend and support the principle of a levy?

Mr. Lloyd

The Pilkington Committee endorsed this form of financing the new organisation. I am glad to say that the new organisation is already receiving fees from industry to the extent of £20,000 a year.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is it not a fact that this work is really on far too small a scale? Will not the right hon. Gentleman therefore consider my hon. Friend's proposal to increase it greatly?

Mr. Lloyd

I think we have to see how the new organisation gets to work. It is expanding rapidly.

17. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the number and value of interest-free loans made so far by the new Fuel Efficiency Company to private industrial concerns for the installation of fuel-saving equipment.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

There is a Government scheme under which loans can be made that are free of interest for the first two years, and I have so far approved 95 such loans totalling nearly £700,000.