HC Deb 15 November 1954 vol 533 cc3-4
6. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power in view of the policy of the Government in substituting oil, within a few years, for 10 million tons of coal burned annually at our power stations and converting to dual firing, what steps he has taken to establish the comparative costs of electricity production, respectively, by coal and oil; and what steps he is taking to prevent a rise in electricity prices resulting from oil substitution for coal.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

The British Electricity Authority hope to negotiate agreements with the oil companies for the supply of fuel oil on the lines of the agreement made for the Marchwood Power Station. If price parity with coal is agreed, no increase in price should result from the use of this oil.

Mr. Noel-Baker

With regard to this and previous Questions, is the right hon. Gentleman in agreement with his right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Labour in desiring to spread the load and have more shift work, so making more efficient use of our power stations, or does he simply propose to go on increasing the number of power stations in order to meet every increase in the industrial demand for electricity?

Mr. Lloyd

The two things are not incompatible. It is important to increase the number of power stations, firstly, to avoid fuel cuts, and secondly, to meet the increased demand we expect in the future. My right hon. and learned Friend and I are equally keen to see greater use being made of the shift system, which would greatly increase the efficiency of the electric power supply.