HC Deb 07 July 1955 vol 543 cc1382-427

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

7.1 p.m.

Mr. Gerald Nabarro (Kidderminster)

I beg to move, to leave out "now" and, at the end of the Question, to add "upon this day six months."

We had an interesting debate on 1st April, 1952, on matters which were very largely identical with the questions that will undoubtedly be debated this evening. On that occasion, the British Electricity Authority, now the Central Electricity Authority, promoted a Private Bill for the building of hydro-electric works on a large scale in the general area of Snowdonia, and my hon. Friend the Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) was responsible for moving the Second Reading.

I opposed the Bill then, as I oppose it this evening for a similar reason. It is significant that, on 1st April, 1952, we had a Division at the end of the Second Reading debate, and my right hon. and hon. Friends and I—for there were several Ministers of the then Conservative Government who voted in the same Lobby as I did—were defeated by 200 votes to 40, which, one might think, was a very large margin. The interesting thing was that, within a few months, the Electricity Authority completely capitulated, and out of the £4½ million worth of schemes that were proposed in that Bill it withdrew £4 million worth, and left only a very minor part—£500,000 worth—for a scheme for the extension of the catchment area of the existing pre-war Dolgarrog and Maentwrog hydro-electric works. The Authority withdrew the whole of the proposals for the Ffestiniog scheme, costing, as it was then, about £4 million.

The reason the Authority gave was that it could not afford the capital investment. I did not quarrel with the Authority publicly, though it seemed a very disingenuous and feeble excuse. The fact of the matter was that, at the time the Authority was investing at the rate of £170 million a year, and what it was saying was that it could not afford to find £1 million out of that to go on with the Ffestiniog scheme.

The plain fact of the matter was that public opinion was very largely against the Authority. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Oh, yes, the plain fact of the matter was that there was a great volume of opposition manifested in this House, although we were defeated upon it, and the Authority withdrew the scheme. Now, a matter of three years later, it has brought in a very similar Bill, but this time for a much larger amount.

The Bill before the House this evening proposes to build hydro-electric works at Ffestiniog and at Rheidol, but the Ffestiniog works proposed in this Bill are entirely different in character from those proposed in the last Bill, which were abandoned a few months after my speech On the subject. [An HON. MEMBER: "The hon. Gentleman is too modest."] I am very interested to know why the Authority turned turtle on the disingenuous argument of capital investment. [HON. MEMBERS: "The hon. Gentleman's speech."] No doubt the Authority read it afterwards, but what is much more important is that it now proposes an entirely different scheme at Ffestiniog—a scheme which is fundamentally different from that which it turned down three years ago, and which it was then very anxious to promote because the Authority said it was highly economic and perfect in every way.

I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power—in due course, I suppose he will intervene in the debate—to justify the sanction which my right hon. Friend has given to the introduction of this Bill, for the Minister has to give such a sanction. Why did the Electricity Authority turn turtle and fundamentally alter that scheme? I say that it would be wrong for any hon. Member of this House, on either side, to regard these two schemes, Ffestiniog and Rheidol, in isolation. They are, in fact, part of a whole series of schemes costing a very large sum of money for hydro-electric works in North Wales. The first scheme is evidently to be the Ffestiniog scheme which is to be followed by Rheidol, followed by Conway, followed by Nant Frangcon, followed by Mawddach and by half a dozen schemes on and around Snowdon.

The hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. G. Roberts) made this point very well in the debate on 1st April, 1952, and should like to quote him. He said: I do hope the House will bear in mind that the Bill is the first of a series of measures by which the British Electricity Authority hope to implement a vast and complex scheme to harness the entire watershed of Snowdonia for hydro-electrical purposes. He went on in these words, which were very significant from a local hon. Member: In the Bill, the B.E.A. are asking for everything and conceding nothing. They are literally asking for the earth, and, indeed, as one reads the terms of the Bill, it seems at times that the Authority are begging for opposition. This is all the more surprising in view of the intense public interest"— and this is for the benefit of those hon. Gentlemen who shouted at me just now— the intense public interest and concern over the B.E.A.'s proposals since they were first announced some years ago."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st April, 1952; Vol. 498, cc. 1495–6.]

Mr. Goronwy Roberts (Caernarvon)

Read the final sentence.

Mr. Nabarro

I have already read two paragraphs. If the hon. Gentleman wants to read the whole debate, he can go away and read it himself.

There was intense public concern, and the result of it was, following the speeches made in this House, which I was privileged to lead on that occasion, the greater part of the proposals in the Bill were withdrawn.

Mr. Roberts

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. There are two points arising from what he has just said. The first is that the earlier scheme was really completely different in scope and character from the present scheme. Secondly, will the hon. Gentleman now give us his evidence for what he has just said—that the present scheme is the precursor of schemes for Conway, Mawddach, Nant Frangcon and all the rest?

Mr. Nabarro

Perhaps I may be allowed to continue. I will deal with all these points in the rest of my speech. I do not wish to be unduly partisan about this, because I think the hon. Gentleman will find that, if a Division follows this debate this evening, there will be Members of both parties voting in opposite Lobbies. This is not a party political discussion, and I will try to deal with it on that basis.

There is great concern today about the amenity considerations of this Bill, which may be dealt with later in the Committee. In the notes which they have put out to guide hon. Members of the House, the Electricity Authority has included all the points which it thought was of value to the scheme, and has omitted nearly as much more which it thought might be disadvantageous. The Authority uses these words in connection with amenities: Although the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog itself is excluded from the Snowdonia National Park, the scheme itself is for the most part within the Park. The Rheidol scheme is situated in fine country in the middle of Wales below Plynlimmon and in the Rheidol Valley. In fact, practically all the works and the approaches to the works will be within or directly adjacent to the National Park area.

I am concerned very largely this evening with the economics of a scheme of this kind, and though most of us recognise that it is important that our fuel and power economy generally should be as diversified as possible in present circumstances, with the emphasis on the saving of coal, there is a limit to the capital investment that should be called upon to save one ton of coal.

People who plead, as the Electricity Authority pleads in its notes to hon. Members, that there is a large coal saving inherent in the scheme should relate the coal saving to the capital investment cost involved, because there is a direct relationship between these two considerations. I do not believe that any hon. Member on either side of the House will quarrel with me when I say that one does not want to spend £1 million in capital investment in order to save one ton of coal a year. There must be a limit to the amount of money that one invests for coal economy purposes.

The Ffestiniog scheme, which is by far the more expensive of the two, is to cost £14.79 million, and the Rheidol scheme, the smaller of the two, £5.79 million, a total of £20.58 million.

The first comment that I would make in connection with the two schemes and their cost is that one must bear in mind the occupational efficiency of the schemes. Putting it in different terms, one must consider the continuity of operation of the power schemes, which is generally described by the Authority as the "load factor."

The load factor of the two schemes is appallingly low, which means that a very large part of the capital moneys invested in the schemes will lie idle throughout the life of the capital works. For instance, in the case of Ffestiniog, which is a pump storage scheme and not an orthodox hydro-electric scheme, the load factor or occupational efficiency is only 11 per cent. That means that the £14,790,000 capital invested in the scheme will be used as to 11 per cent. and lying idle as to 89 per cent.

I want to compare that—it is an extreme case—with the efficiencies which we have reached in this country with orthodox power stations, which now have the highest efficiencies in the world, even taking into account the United States of America. It is significant that, for instance, the very large power station at Portobello. "B" Edinburgh, has been working at a load factor or occupational efficiency of 89 per cent., which means that the capital invested in it is continuously used as to 89 per cent. and only standing idle as to 11 per cent. At Ffestiniog the exact reverse is the case.

I question whether we ought, notwithstanding the coal shortage, to invest moneys which are to be put into enforced idleness for what amounts to seven-eights of the time that the asset may be used.

I am glad to see the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) in her place. She spoke in the previous de-date and took me up on the same point. I referred on that occasion to the new Connah's Quay power station being built on the estuary of the River Dee. I asked why it should not be used to a greater occupational efficiency with hardly any extra fuel consumption, and thus avoid the disruption caused by the extravagant hydro-electric schemes a few miles away.

I quoted in support of what I said the report by Sir Patrick Abercrombie to the Caernarvonshire County Council, in which he made the same point. The Minister of Fuel and Power replied that one could not work power stations to such a high load factor because it would mean power being generated in the middle of the night. That was three years ago, before the Portobello Station or the Connah's Quay station were working.

Mr. E. G. Willis (Edinburgh, East)

Portobello "A" station was working.

Mr. Nabarro

Portobello "A" station was working at that time, but not Portobello "B," and I am talking about Portobello "B" station. Since that date I have been proved exactly right. By increasing the occupational efficiency of existing power stations, the whole of the extravagant works in North Wales could be done without.

It is proposed to work the Rheidol scheme at a load factor of only 19 per cent., which means that the capital of £5.79 million will be 19 per cent. occupied and 81 per cent. lying idle. That is not quite as bad as Ffestiniog, but it is nearly as bad.

There is one parallel case in the United Kingdom for this kind of thing. It is in Scotland. It is a hydro-electric works which was built for peak load operation, and it is the biggest "white elephant" of any hydro-electric works in the world. It is the Loch Sloy power station, which works on a load factor of 10 per cent. The misguided people who built it said that it was necessary to have it to meet the Glasgow peak load. Any electrical engineer could have told the people responsible for promoting the scheme that the proper thing would have been to have put an auxiliary generator in an existing power house and worked it for a couple of hours a day during the peak load period. That would have saved a very large part of the capital cost involved. The use of the generator would have been restricted to the hours when additional power was required to meet the peak load.

The cases against the two North Wales schemes are very largely the same. I invite hon. Gentlemen to read Sir Patrick Abercrombie on this subject. I do not want them to read the whole of his lengthy report to the Caernarvonshire County Council, because it is not all entirely relevant and much of it deals with amenity considerations, but on 1st April, 1952, I quoted the part of Sir Patrick's report about the use of existing power stations and raising their load factor to eliminate the need for these extravagant water stations. That holds good today and is entirely apposite to the case I am putting tonight in opposition to the Bill.

Some hon. Members think that the sole justification for these extravagant water works is that a small amount of coal will be saved. The two schemes, involving constructional works costing £20,580,000, will, when they are brought to fruition, save 71,000 tons of coal a year. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will listen carefully to this. I hope he will get one of his advisers to do a little sum or put a slide rule over the figures to find out what it is costing in capital investment to save one ton of coal a year. The answer is that £290 of capital investment is required in these two schemes to save one ton of coal, £5 worth of coal, a year. That is a ratio of about sixty to one.

It means that, without any interest charges on the capital invested, it will take 60 years to recover, in terms of value of coal economy, the amount of the investment. If interest charges are added, it will take more than a hundred years to recover the investment. No commercial concern which had to show a profit year by year in the open competitive market could conceivably go forward with an undertaking of that kind.

I want to make a direct comparison, and perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will listen to this with equal care. My hon. Friend is as anxious as I am to promote fuel efficiency and saving. In these two schemes it takes £290 of capital investment to save one ton of coal per annum. In the case of a textile factory which I recently checked up very carefully, £100,000 of capital was invested to save 6,000 tons of coal a year. If we divide the coal saving into the investment figure it will be found that it takes only £17 of capital investment to save one ton of coal a year—£17 for one ton of coal saved per annum in a textile factory; £290 of investment to save a ton of coal per anum in this scheme, which is a ratio of seventeen to one against the hydro-electric scheme.

I suggest that it is grossly extravagant to approve an investment of £20½ million of public money for a scheme which produces a nugatory saving—in relation to the investment—of 71,000 tons of coal a year when between fifteen to twenty-five times the coal saving could be derived from that investment in general industry and in other connections. That is the case against the claims made by the British Electrical Authority that these schemes are of importance from a coal saving point of view.

Before I sit down I shall be asked what is the alternative. These are not schemes for rural electrification. Neither Rheidol nor Ffestiniog are such schemes. The hon. and learned Member for Cardigan (Mr. Bowen) who could not be here this evening through illness—and we shall miss his contribution to the debate—said on the last occasion, "Oh, yes, we must have these hydro-electric schemes in Snowdonia, because they will bring electricity to the remote farms of Cardiganshire."

That is rot. It was never intended that they should do so. They were to be installed as stations to feed electricity into the grid. Because I disputed that on the last occasion, the British Electricity Authority has been a little more forthcoming this time. It has written into its brief and notes for Members the direct statement that these stations are for peak load purposes, and are not in any way intended to assist rural electrification.

Mr. F. Blackburn (Stalybridge and Hyde)

The hon. Member seems to be in possession of facts which are not possessed by other hon. Members. Several times he has referred to notes supplied to hon. Members by the Electricity Authority. May I ask which hon. Members have had these notes?

Mr. Nabarro

I am sorry, but I cannot act as a sort of Parliamentary guardian to the hon. Gentleman. I am a free enterprising Member of Parliament—as you, Mr. Speaker, will know—and if I wish to find out what is the opposition to what I shall say in this House, I go to the source. In connection with their Parliamentary machinations, the Central Electricity Authority employ a firm of Parliamentary agents called Dyson Bell and Company. They distributed throughout this House—they gave a copy to my hon. Friend the Member for Conway (Mr. P. Thomas) who is supporting this Bill—notes entitled, "North Wales Hydro-Electricity Board Bill, notes for Second Reading, House of Commons, Thursday, 7th July." If the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Blackburn) has not received a copy, that is not my fault, but if my hon. Friend the Member for Conway has not received one, he can borrow mine.

Mr. Peter Thomas (Conway)

I wish to inform my hon. Friend that he is not correct when he says that the Central Electricity Authority gave me some notes for this debate. I have today come into the possession of these notes, but they were not given to me by the Authority.

Mr. Nabarro

I am sorry. But that is a mere technicality. It does not matter from whence he got them so long as my hon. Friend has got them.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood (Rossendale)

As the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) is giving the sources of his information, will he give the reference for the intervention which he attributed to the hon. and learned Member for Cardigan (Mr. Bowen). I think that perhaps the hon. Member is confusing the hon. and learned Member for Cardigan with the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies).

Mr. Nabarro

I may be; I am sorry if that is so. I may be mistaken about it. But it is the fact that on the occasion of the last debate the hon. and learned Member for Cardigan (Mr. Bowen), if he did not say so across the Chamber to me, indicated strongly to me outside the Chamber that this was a rural electrification measure. It is not a rural electrification measure this time. It is a peak load contribution.

For only one-third of the capital cost involved in these schemes, the Central Electricity Authority could install oil driven auxiliary generators in existing power stations to meet peak load needs. Surely my hon. Friend cannot object to that proposal. Only last Monday his right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power in reply to Parliamentary Questions, was telling me that 5 million tons of oil per annum were to be used in power stations, within three years from now, to save 8 million tons of coal a year and, pro rata, only a tiny amount of oil would have to be substituted to save the whole of these hydro-electric schemes before the House tonight.

If it be claimed that there is no parallel case available to test the efficacy of what I am recommending this evening about auto-diesels, I invite hon. Gentlemen to study the fact that at the lower end of the Rheidol Valley in Wales, where it flows out to the sea at Aberystwyth, a long time before the war when a power station was built there, oil generators were installed in order to save long transmission lines and the attendant heavy capital cost, and in order to save hauling coal over long distances. Exactly the same principles apply at Wick, in the north of Scotland.

For those reasons I believe that the Measure before the House is financially improvident, economically unjustifiable and aesthetically ruinous. I shall invite right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House to join with me in opposing the Bill and supporting a policy of providing power where it is really needed, namely, in the remote areas of rural Wales, by means of small auto-diesel power stations close to the points of consumption; and in the case of peak load requirements—notably in the industrial areas—by the installation of auxiliary oil-driven generators in existing power stations where there is available capacity for them. Both alternatives could be furnished at only one-third of the capital cost involved in these schemes and at running costs approximately comparable with the cost of the electricity generated by these hydro-electric schemes.

Mr. G. Roberts

May I remind the hon. Gentleman of the point I raised earlier? I asked him if he would adduce the evidence of the point which he made, namely, that this scheme is the precursor of similar and larger schemes at Nat Ffrancon, Conway, Aberglaslyn and other such parts of Snowdonia? Can the hon. Gentleman give the evidence?

Mr. Nabarro

It is I think well known —but the hon. Gentleman should apply to the Electricity Authority for corroboration—that it has a long-term plan in North Wales for all these schemes successively. That has, in fact, led so far to the extension at Maentwrog and Dolgarrog and is now leading to these proposals applying to the Ffestiniog scheme and the Rheidol scheme. The hon. Gentleman should get confirmation from the Electricity Authority, but I would remind him that he cannot complain about what I am saying, because he himself said it on the occasion of the Second Reading of the last Bill on 1st April, 1952.

Mr. Roberts

The hon. Member cannot ride off in that way. He definitely said that this scheme, which is completely different in scope and character from the one we attacked in the South years ago, was a precursor of schemes of the kind we opposed three years ago. I challenge him to give the evidence.

Mr. Nabarro

In fact——

Mr. Speaker

Order. This discussion is becoming irregular.

7.29 p.m.

Mr. Peter Kirk (Gravesend)

I beg to second the Amendment.

I did not have the advantage enjoyed by my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) of taking part in the previous debate on a similar scheme three years ago. I should also make it clear that I do not share in the fight to the death which is being carried on by my hon. Friend with the British Electricity Authority. I wish to oppose this Bill chiefly—in fact almost entirely so far as the Rheidol scheme is concerned —on the grounds of amenity considerations.

My hon. Friend has said that the Rheidol scheme is the smaller of the two, but it will do more damage to more beautiful country than will the other. The British Electricity Authority has made concessions on the question of Ffestiniog which have not entirely done away with the apprehensions of some of us interested in the preservation of the countryside, but they have gone a long way to meet objections which have been raised. It is most unfortunate that they have not seen fit to do the same thing with regard to Rheidol.

I think it is germane to the issue that both schemes are planned to take place either within or very adjacent to a National Park. Actually, the Rheidol scheme is almost outside the designated National Park, but it is in one of the areas scheduled by the Hobhouse Committee as being of special beauty. I do not think that we can regard National Parks as being sacrosanct, but if public authorities wish to carry out works of this kind in these beautiful areas they must justify their need on two grounds.

First, they must prove that there are overriding economic reasons why the work must be carried out there and not anywhere else. Secondly, they must make every effort to preserve the amenities of the area should they carry out the work. My hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster has, I think, proved demonstrably that the first of these two conditions has not been met, and I do not think that the second has either.

Of course, Clause 26 of the Bill before us tonight provides for various safeguards which are supposed to protect the countryside. It seems to me to be a very vaguely drawn Clause, and I doubt very much whether it will accomplish what it sets out to do. Anyway, if the Bill passes in its present form, no amount of calling in of country planning consultants and landscape gardeners is going to safeguard the basic thing, which is the view of Plynlimmon and of the Upper Rheidol Valley, which is destined to be completely obliterated by this Bill. Nor will it save the Drosgol Hill.

Mr. Arthur Moyle (Oldbury and Halesowen)

I am following the hon. Gentleman with great interest, because the Rheidol Valley happens to be part of my own area. Did he say that this Rheidol scheme would in any way obliterate the view of Plynlimmon?

Mr. Kirk

I think that it would desecrate it, because it is intended that the Upper Rheidol Valley shall be the right or the eastern arm of the reservoir at the top. As a result, when the level has fallen very considerably in time of drought, there will be a very large area of mud and stones exposed to view. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman shares my own enthusiasm for that part of Wales.

Mr. Moyle

I must say that the hon. Gentleman spoils a very good case by exaggeration.

Mr. Kirk

I do not think that I am exaggerating to that extent. The Electricity Authority admits that a very large area will be exposed in times of drought, and though droughts are not very common in this country, they do occur from time to time.

Secondly, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree with me that it will make access to Drosgol almost impossible. On three sides it will be surrounded by water, and on the northern side it will be bog. It is now almost virtually impossible of access, particularly from the south.

This very beautiful valley is also used for the herding of sheep by farms on the other side of what is now designated as the reservoir. It has been suggested to the Electricity Authority that it should build a bridge across one of the narrow arms of the reservoir, but that the authority has refused to do. Maybe the planners could not cope with that situation, but no steps have been taken to deal with the matter, especially on the northern side where it is all bog.

Another question is that of the Rheidol Gorge to the south. The flow of water through there will be lessened as a result of this scheme. The authorities can only guarantee to maintain a quarter of the present amount of water for certain periods of the day during certain periods of the summer. It will almost be as if a visitor to that part of the world will have to put in 6d., press the button and watch the water flow. I do not think that that is the way to treat this beautiful part of the world.

There are other points of objection, too, which the authorities have failed to meet. Of the lowest dam of all, they have refused to earth the dam, although they are prepared to camouflage the 90-foot dam in the Ffestiniog scheme. Also, they are not prepared to site their dam slightly further upstream some 500 yards or so where it would not be visible from the bridge further down, thus spoiling another beautiful view.

The generating station is right in the valley. While I agree that it may be necessary to have a generating station there, I think that some attempt could be made to disguise the desecration which will take place. But, of course, the main objection is bound to be the question of the eastern half of the reservoir about which the hon. Member for Oldbury and Halesowen (Mr. Moyle) said that I was exaggerating the effects. I do not think that I am. I believe that there is a very grave danger that the view will be destroyed.

I am not so opposed to the Ffestiniog scheme as it now stands as to vote against it. I regard is as an excellent scheme for bringing light industry into the neighbourhood, which we all know is suffering from a certain amount of unemployment. If it were possible to separate the two schemes within this Bill, I would vote only against the Rheidol scheme and not against the Ffestiniog scheme, but as that is not possible, and because of the other issues raised by my hon. Friend and myself, I must support this Amendment.

7.37 p.m.

Mr. A. Blenkinsop (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East)

I must admit that the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) does not suffer from any sense of modesty in putting forward the proposals in his Amendment this evening. Even though I have a very great deal of sympathy with his proposal on amenity grounds, I must say that some parts of his speech almost convert me to a different opinion.

At the outset, I think I must correct some of his statements so as to put the matter in proper order. I agree with him, of course, that these schemes do not bring electricity supplies to the immediate rural areas. Nor are they designed to do so. But I think it fair, as a point of correction, to remind the House of something which my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) said when this matter was debated on 1st April, 1952.

On that occasion, my hon. Friend interrupted the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) when he was referring to the great value which schemes of this nature would be to the local people. My hon. Friend then asked whether the House could be told which of the Clauses in the Bill provided for electricity in the rural areas. It is accepted, apparently, on all sides that these schemes are not intended to bring electricity supplies to the rural areas, and therefore that kind of argument cannot be used.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker), who unfortunately is not able to be here this evening, takes a very strong view about this matter, because he was, of course, concerned with the approval of certain other earlier schemes when he held office as Minister of Fuel and Power. He takes the view that these schemes, as put forward, are undesirable because it was his understanding that the similar schemes which he then approved were going to be the end of the hydro-electric schemes proposed for North Wales. He certainly indicated that he would be inclined to oppose any increase in the size of the schemes or in their number. I know he takes the view that both the schemes which are included in this proposal are generally undesirable upon those grounds, and he would have regarded them as unsatisfactory.

The main question which I want to emphasise this evening is the objection to the schemes—principally to the Rheidol scheme—upon grounds of amenity. The part of North Wales in which this area is situated has one vital asset, namely, its natural beauty. Even though we are very anxious to ensure that proper modern facilities shall be available here, as elsewhere, we are absolutely certain that unless we can get adequate protection of those natural amenities the people of North Wales, as well as everyone else, will suffer. I should have to be thoroughly convinced that the proposals which we are now considering would not injure that basic vital capital possessed by North Wales before I could feel able to support the carrying forward of this scheme to a Committee of this House this evening.

Like that of the hon. Member for Gravesend (Mr. Kirk), my main objection is to the Rheidol scheme. That is the smaller of the two, but the one which appears to do the greater damage to the natural beauty of the area. In the case of the other and larger scheme, for Ffestiniog, the Electricity Authority has gone to a very great deal of trouble to meet many of the objections which have been raised on amenity grounds, and has incurred considerable costs in the process. I welcome the fact that this amount of trouble has been taken.

If it had been possible to vote against one scheme and not the other, I—like the hon. Member for Gravesend—should have been happy to do so. Indeed, if I could secure a sufficiently solid undertaking that consideration would be given to amenity interests in the case of the Rheidol scheme I should feel that the scheme might be allowed to go to Committee. It is a striking fact that, whereas in the Ffestiniog scheme much concern has been shown about the amenity interest, the same attention does not seem to have been given to that question in the other scheme. Both in the actual siting of the reservoirs and the siting and construction of the dams—which are matters of very great concern—it looks as though a great deal of further consideration will have to be given before approval can be expressed for these proposals.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Mr. L. W. Joynson-Hicks)

I confess that what the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) has been saying has surprised me a little, because his right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker)—whom, he says, would have opposed these schemes—himself approved the first Ffestiniog scheme, and the Rheidol scheme was also within the scope of that approval. I was wondering if the hon. Member could, in consequence, state rather more clearly what assurance he requires with regard to the amenity aspect of the Rheidol scheme.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Unfortunately, my right hon. Friend cannot be here, but I understand from him that the scheme to which he gave approval was infinitely smaller than that which is being put forward today in respect of Ffestiniog, The first Ffestiniog scheme was a much more modest proposal which, I understand, proved to be incapable of being carried out in practice, for technical reasons of one kind or another. This proposal is about 100 times greater in power and size than the scheme which he approved.

Mr. Nabarro

In order to help the hon. Member's argument, I should like to point out that the scheme approved by the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) was in the sum of £4 million, and was a straightforward hydro-electric scheme. The scheme for which approval is being sought under the Bill is in the sum of £14.79 million and is a pump storage scheme, roughly three and a half times as big as the original proposal.

Mr. Blenkinsop

In any case, it seems that the proposals which are now before us are upon a vastly greater scale than those which my right hon. Friend approved. He certainly expressed to me his very great anxiety about them, and there is no doubt about his views.

I now want to refer to what I regard as the greater danger to amenity. After consideration had been given to the proposals in another place, I understand that satisfactory undertakings have been given, with regard to the Ffestiniog proposals, in connection with the form of construction of the dams. They will be constructed so as to avoid any damage to the amenities of the area. That does not appear to be the case with regard to the Rheidol scheme. I am aware that agreement has been reached about the tunnelling, and that a considerable part of the piping will be underground, but, on the other hand, it had been hoped at the start that any proposals for Rheidol would not include both arms of the upper valley. The disfiguration of the gorge in the lower part of the valley—to which the hon. Member for Gravesend has referred—is another matter upon which grave anxieties have been expressed.

I take the view—and I have no doubt many of my hon. Friends agree—that it would have been best for the House to have approved the Ffestiniog scheme but not the Rheidol scheme, because in that case I am by no means convinced that adequate consideration has been given to the views expressed by various bodies concerned on amenity grounds. The difficulty is that although many of us might have desired to arrive at a compromise proposal, which would have met the conditions and would have allowed one scheme to go forward while the other was held back, that does not seem to be practicable at the present time.

I should like to have some assurance from the Minister that there will be a further complete examination of the Rheidol scheme, in order to see whether the main objections which have been put forward by the hon. Member for Gravesend and the various bodies concerned can be reconsidered and met. If a proposal could be made in that form it might well meet my own feelings and those of other hon. Members, but unless we can have some such undertaking some of us will very regretfully feel compelled to support the Amendment, in the hope that the scheme for Ffestiniog may be brought back at another time, as a separate proposal, when, no doubt, the House will approve it. I hope that it will at least be possible for the Minister to give an undertaking upon those lines before we part with the Bill.

7.50 p.m.

Mr. Peter Thomas (Conway)

I support the passage of the Bill, as I did of the Bill that came before the House in 1952. Most hon. Members then had very strong criticisms to make of the Bill which was presented by the British Electricity Autho- rity. Our opposition to that Bill was almost entirely on the amenity and planning side, and because of the effect which the Bill would have on agriculture by the abstraction of water and in other ways.

I thought I should make that point clear. It might have been thought at that time that I was in harness with my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) in his opposition to that Bill. Today I support the passage of the Bill, not that I wholeheartily support everything in it, but because a good case has been made out by the Central Electricity Authority for the two schemes. The Ffestiniog scheme in particular is good. I can think of many advantages that it will bring, not only to North Wales but to Britain. I confess I had grave doubts of the Rheidol scheme, as other Members had, because of the effect on the amenities of the area. I am happy to know, as the Bill went from another place to a Committee and eventually reached its Second Reading here, that a great deal of work has been done to remove the objections put forward by bodies who are interested in the preservation of amenities.

One can now feel that there will be very little ill effect on these areas from the two hydro-electric schemes under the Bill as amended. I do not wish to go into the technical side, but what my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster said is true. I am in possession of a brief which gives me information on the technical side of the schemes. Other people who may have read the brief may appreciate the great advantages which may flow from these schemes. Amenity, planning and agriculture concerned us very greatly when the 1952 Bill came up. The present Bill has safeguards, and I have every confidence that when these schemes go to Committee those matters will be looked into very carefully, and that the fears entertained by interested bodies will be dispelled.

I hope that these schemes will come into effect. I have every confidence that they will do so for the general benefit.

7.52 p.m.

Mr. T. W. Jones (Merioneth)

Perhaps I should declare at the outset of my speech that I am an ex-employee of the Central Electricity Authority. That fact has nothing to do with what I am going to say. I am interested only in Ffestiniog, which has been mentioned many times in the debate and which is the largest town in my constituency. The hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) said he was interested only in the economics. I differ from him. I am interested only in the human aspect of the matter, as I hope to show as I proceed.

Blaenau Ffestiniog is wholeheartedly behind the scheme. I fully appreciate the desire of hon. Members to preserve and protect the natural beauty and scenery of Merionethshire and Cardiganshire, and I would be second to none in my determination to do that; but safeguards have already secured it. The Snowdonia Joint Advisory Committee sought the assistance of Sir Patrick Abercrombie when the Bill was framed. The framers have taken good care to satisfy that notable architect's views on the architecture of the scheme, and there should be no qualms from that angle.

When the Bill was discussed in another place, satisfaction was expressed that in the Ffestiniog scheme the amenities were for all time secured. Certain outside bodies are concerned about the preservation of the amenities of Blaenau Ffestiniog; I am sure they will concede that the inhabitants must be more concerned than they are about those amenities. Those inhabitants are all in favour of the scheme. I do not see that any further objection can arise from that quarter. If there were a danger to the natural amenities, the inhabitants would be the first to protest, but they do not protest, because they are perfectly satisfied that the amenities have been secured.

I support the Bill for another particular reason. I hope the House will note what I am saying. I have frequently related in this House the rather pathetic situation which prevails in Blaenau Ffestiniog, which has one industry, the slate industry. This is a declining industry. Every year more people leave the area to seek employment in other parts of Wales and in England. Depopulation is persistent. Almost within living memory the population of the town of Ffestiniog has been reduced from 14,000 to less than 7,000 today.

We are losing more than people. We are losing from that part of the world a native culture not to be found elsewhere. If we went into Blaenau Ffestiniog tonight we would hear no English, not a word. The people habitually speak Welsh on the streets, at the works, in places of worship, in the shops —everywhere. There is a form of culture in that part of the world which is not to be found anywhere else. We are losing that, by this persistent depopulation. As Welsh people, we are determined to preserve our culture. That can be done only by keeping the people there, and that can be done only by providing them with work. People in Wales cannot live on the wind any more than people can in Kidderminster. They will remain in Wales as long as there is work there for them to do.

If this Bill goes through—and I passionately appeal to the House to let it go through without a Division—it will provide employment in Blaenau Ffestiniog for between 700 and 800 people for eight years. We have heard of economics from the hon. Member for Kidderminster. but these are the real economics for a town where the remaining industry is declining year by year.

In Blaenau Ffestiniog there is another pathetic element which commands sympathy. This is a quarry area, and like every other quarry and coalmining area scores of workers suffer from that dreadful disease, silicosis. If a man is declared to be suffering from even a percentage of that disease, he is warned not to re-enter the quarry but to seek light work. That simply adds insult to injury, because there is no light work. The man is told, "You are suffering from a high percentage of silicosis and in no circumstances should you go back into the quarry. By all means seek light work." Where can he go? Nowhere. He can only sit in the corner of his kitchen worrying over his economic affairs.

There is no such thing as light work to be found either in that area or in the whole of the county. I know that this scheme will demand heavy work, but incidental to that there must, of necessity, be a large number of light jobs. Here is a hope at last for those men—so often breathless from this terrible disease—to find suitable employment for the next eight years. On that humanitarian ground I ask the House to pass the Bill. As I say, I am not interested in economics but in this human problem. The local people are wholeheartedly behind this scheme, and will indeed be dismayed if on the wireless tonight they hear that the Bill has been rejected.

The scheme will be carried into effect in that part of Blaenau Ffestiniog known as Tanygrisiau, where the inhabitants held a meeting on 19th January, 1955. Although the resolution which was passed was necessarily worded in Welsh, I shall give the following English version: That the meeting of the inhabitants of Tanygrisiau welcomes most ardently the Electricity Power Scheme. To test the feeling of the whole town the local council held a meeting which almost filled the local cinema—the sort of meeting which few hon. Members had the pleasure of seeing at the Election. There was no apathy there. The following resolution was passed: That this Public Meeting of the inhabitants of the Ffestiniog Urban District held on the 22nd January, 1955, at the Forum Cinema, Blaenau Ffestiniog, welcomes the North Wales Hydro-Electric Power Bill presented to Parliament and looks forward to the Bill becoming law in the near future. The meeting also warmly supports the efforts of the Ffestiniog Urban District Council to secure this Scheme, believing it will bring hope of a brighter future for the area. I may add that in what I say tonight I am supported by the Quarrymen's Union. The local council has received only one letter of protest, and when I say where it has come from I shall hardly be believed.

Mr. Blackburn


Mr. Jones

No—from Birmingham. The Birmingham people are so enamoured with the natural beauties of their surroundings, where … every prospect pleases And only man is vile that they are very concerned that Ffestiniog should not lose its natural beauty. Indeed, the very fact that the protest comes from across the border should persuade every hon. Member to support the Bill. North Wales, practically to a man, is behind the scheme.

There is another important aspect. The proposed power station will not have its equal or its like in the whole of Europe, nor will there be anything approaching it in the British Isles. It will be an engineer- ing feat, and I can well imagine that visitors wanting to enjoy the natural beauty of Merioneth—and there is no county in the whole of Wales or the British Isles to compare with it for natural beauty—will want not only to enjoy that beauty but to see an engineering feat unique in Europe.

That will develop the tourist industry of North Wales which, as every leader in public life will state, is the chief hope of North Wales—and the people of Cardiganshire would agree. They are very, very eager to persuade people to do what they are doing tonight in Llangollen —coming from everywhere. We want to persuade them to do that, and there is here a hope of developing the tourist industry by having this scheme established in Blaenau Ffestiniog. I am sure, also, that due care will be given to see that the amenities of Cardiganshire are not spoilt.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is my hon. Friend really suggesting that an eisteddfod should be held by the side of a power station? I ask that, while reminding him that I am not opposing the Blaenau scheme.

Mr. Jones

I am not suggesting that an eisteddfod should be held there, but I say that people will come to see this great work when it is established at the end of 10 years. I make an appeal to hon. Members on both sides of the House, first, not to divide on this Motion and, secondly, if there is a Division, to allow the hon. Member for Kidderminster to go into the Lobby alone.

8.10 p.m.

Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)

I am justified in intervening in this debate because part of this Bill refers to my county of Montgomery, and also because I wish to support the hon. Member for Merioneth (Mr. T. W. Jones). I can agree with him in everything he said, except his remark that Merioneth is the most beautiful county. That is the only matter on which we differ.

The hon. Member described conditions in Ffestiniog. The tourist industry and attractions for tourists are a matter of interest to us, but the lives of the people of Wales who have to live there when tourists do not come to the country is a matter of greater importance to us. We are more concerned with their amenities and mode of life than with the attractions there may be for those who visit us occasionally in the summer months.

I can bear out the description the hon. Member gave of conditions under which men have to work in Ffestiniog and the terrible tragedies that occur because of those conditions. I used to appear on behalf of those workers in the county courts trying to get workmen's compensation for them. I also had the important job of conducting an inquiry about Wales. The worst conditions were found in that quarrying district where men go down into the bowels of the earth. They work there in so much dust and so little oxygen that even a candle will not keep alight when held aloft and two men cannot see one another within a couple of yards. Cannot we offer some work above ground to these men so that they will not have to shorten their lives, as they have to, by continuing to seek this the only work open to them near their homes which they have learned to treasure?

Another matter which also concerns us in Montgomeryshire is that this House has placed upon the British Electricity Authority the duty of providing electric power and electric light throughout the whole of England and Wales. That duty was put upon the Authority. It is rightly referred to in the Act as providing an efficient, co-ordinated and economical system. I am not in a position to go into the details of that, but the Authority had the duty put upon it by Parliament itself to go into the question of the economics of a scheme before it presented it to Parliament. I have every reason to believe that this very efficient body has done that. All the time there is an increasing demand for more electric power, not only in the rural districts, but throughout the country. Apart from hydro-electric power, the only two ways in which that can be done is by the utilisation of coal —which is now in such short supply that, at very great expense, we have to import it, using dollars we can ill afford to use—or by the use of oil, which, again, we have to import. Why should we not make more and more use of such water power as we can use in this country?

The trouble is that in the remote parts of Wales the Authority has found it very difficult to supply the needs of cottages and farms scattered in the area of Plynlimmon.

Mr. Blenkinsop

The right hon. and learned Member made a similar plea when the House was debating this subject some years ago. Surely he will agree that the scheme we are discussing tonight does not in fact propose to supply electricity to areas adjacent to the works?

Mr. Davies

It is an additional power which the Authority requires to enable it to carry out duties placed upon it by Parliament. When it has those powers and is able to utilise them, I assume that we shall he in a better position to receive from it—that which now we have to go without—electricity in cottages and farms and power in our villages and small towns.

The hon. Member for Merioneth rightly referred to the tragedy of Ffestiniog. Time and again have I called attention to the tragedy of the rural countryside of Wales and to the fact that our people have not the work which might be given them nor the amenities which in this century ought to be given them. Anything which makes it easier to give them those amenities should receive the full support of every hon. Member in this House.

8.17 p.m.

Mr. Arthur Moyle (Oldbury and Halesowen)

The chief qualification for my intervening in this debate is two simple facts. One is that I am a Welshman and the other that the Rheidol Valley was near my home.

I listened to the hon. Member for Gravesend (Mr. Kirk), whose speech was derived entirely from his desire to maintain delightful natural amenities, particularly those of the Rheidol Valley. I thought he rather overstated his case and spoiled it by exaggeration, particularly when he spoke of the view of Plynlimmon being obliterated by the suggested civil engineering scheme that is now before us. I thought that a little too tall to be accepted even by as credulous a politician as myself. The hon. Member knows that we cannot have a reservoir except in a gorge or where there is a valley. It is very difficult to make a reservoir in any other conditions. The scheme stretches right along the valley and will form some delightful lakes at the very base of Plynlimmon. In answer to the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro), who, apparently, is not now in his place, the scheme will in due course provide very interesting piscatorial pursuits for the hon. Member, who is afflicted by that particular pastime.

I recall the Elan Valley waterworks scheme, one of the finest pieces of engineering in Great Britain, and the bitter controversy which raged among predecessors of my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) and various rambling clubs throughout the country. I remember their saying how that wonderful valley in Radnorshire would be destroyed by that civil engineering scheme, but what was the result? Everyone knows that that wonderful scheme not only provided water for Birmingham and districts adjacent to Birmingham but enhanced the beauty of that part of Wales.

Consider, next, Lake Vyrnwy—a civil engineering scheme promoted and put through by Liverpool Corporation. That aroused great controversy. It was said that it would destroy the natural amenities of Wales. You are familiar with this part of Wales, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and you know that both the Birmingham reservoir and the Lake Vyrnwy schemes have enhanced the natural beauty of Wales.

This is really a question of striking the right balance between those who argue that virgin Nature should remain unsullied and those who say that Nature should be harnessed to the service of the community. Subject to very strong reservations, I am all for harnessing Nature to the service of the community.

I know that the Montgomeryshire County Council, the Cardigan County Council and the Aberystwyth Borough Council have been engaged for a considerable time in discussions and negotiations with the Electricity Authority. All the objections which were advanced by those county and local authorities have been met, and I am officially advised that these three authorities have given the proposals, with due safeguards, their official blessing.

I am content to rest my case for the scheme on the satisfaction which I derive from the knowledge that these public authorities in Wales are far better cus- todians of the natural beauties of our country than any of my hon. Friends who sponsor the various rambling societies throughout the country can hope to be.

Having struck a reasonable balance between the claims of my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East and those of the hon. Member for Gravesend, I hope that they will join me in the Lobby and support the Bill.

8.23 p.m.

Mr. J. Idwal Jones (Wrexham)

Like my hon. Friend the Member for Merioneth (Mr. T. W. Jones), I want to support the Bill mainly for two reasons.

Mr. W. R. Williams (Manchester, Openshaw)

Because you are his brother.

Mr. Jones

My hon. Friend has revealed an interest.

Those reasons are economic, human and social. The economic aspect of the Bill has already been mentioned, but a point which was not very clearly made was that this aspect of the Bill will come into view when we remember that the Bill seeks to increase the national power resources. That is the primary object of the Bill—to increase the resources of power in the whole of Britain. The incidental effect of the scheme will fall on Blaenau Ffestiniog, and that is where the social and human aspects come into view.

There are only two other methods of producing electricity as far as I know—from coal or from oil. As a nation we have no sources of natural oil. We also know that the days have gone when we could export coal. We are no longer a nation with a surplus of coal. The result is that, while we admit that we have to use coal and oil for the generation of electricity, it is essential in the present economic circumstances to supplement coal and oil with hydro-electricity.

The Blaenau Ffestiniog scheme is a novel scheme—a pump storage scheme, as the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) mentioned. This means that the encroachment on our coal and oil resources will be insignificant, and, as it turns out, there will not even be a wastage of water. It is an admirable scheme. When it is implemented the water resources of Blaenau Ffestiniog will remain intact. Even if the present scheme were to draw on the water supplies of Blaenau Ffestiniog, I do not suggest that Ffestiniog would be a dry place because, as we are very well aware, Blaenau Ffestiniog has broken the record for rainfall on more occasions than any other town in Britain.

Mr. W. R. Williams

What about Manchester?

Mr. Jones

It has even broken the record of Manchester.

Mr. Williams

And Greenock?

Mr. Jones

Yes, even Greenock. If anyone challenges my statement, I shall be happy to be given the figures.

This scheme is interesting because it will not even waste water. It is practically a solution to the problem of the wheel of perpetual motion.

There are objections to it, and I have heard some from both sides of the House. The first objection is that it interferes with the natural beauty of the area. I do not plead for the desecration of Nature. I will not give the reasons because they are obvious. I would point out that the landscape of Blaenau Ffestiniog is already scarred to a disgusting extent. It is one of the most beautiful valleys in Wales; in fact, Blaenau Ffestiniog means the end of the Vale of Ffestiniog. I am sorry to say that I have not heard many Welsh words pronounced correctly by those opposing this scheme tonight.

When anyone moves up the Vale of Ffestiniog he comes up against a granite mass of mountains—one of the most massive pieces of mountain land in the whole of Britain. It is one solid mass, but it has been scarred with mountainous tips of waste slate as if the interior of the mountain had belched it out. I suggest to the House that if this scheme in Blaenau Ffestiniog proves to be a scar on the landscape—and I do not admit that it will—then Blaenau Ffestiniog is so accustomed to the scars of nineteenth century industrialism that it is quite prepared and ready to put up with the extra scar, if that will help to relieve what has happened in the past.

There are other scars, however, and I want to draw attention to them for a few moments. They are historical scars. This may not seem relevant to the question, but it all comes into the picture. From 1821 to 1881, a period of 60 years, the population of Blaenau Ffestiniog multiplied tenfold, as did the production of slate. It was a period of unparallel prosperity. Yet that period has left its legacies, from which they are suffering at present. One of them is that during that period of great prosperity from Ffestiniog there radiated three railways. Ffestiniog was the starting point, not the end of the three railway systems. With the turn of the century the slate industry began to decline, and after 1918 it declined at an alarming rate, with the result that in Blaenau Ffestiniog we have an industry which has only a shadow of its former prosperity.

As we are aware, the spokes of a wheel are never joined together but are connected by a hub. So the railway systems in Ffestiniog were never linked together but were connected by the hub of the slate industry. But that hub has fallen and we find this interesting situation. Blaenau Ffestiniog had two railway systems but not one through system, with the result that other industries cannot be attracted to the area. Moreover, Blaenau Ffestiniog is far removed from coal and fuel resources, and because it has no through railway it is impossible to get other industries to come to the town, which is in a state of decline. It has no fuel resources, no transport resources and no other subsidiary industry of any importance.

Now comes this scheme. The scheme, as I have said, is necessary for the nation. It is not a scheme for Blaenau Ffestiniog alone. It is a scheme to increase the economic resources of the nation. It is only incidental, although I suggest it is also providential, that this scheme comes along, which will give to the people of Blaenau Ffestiniog a ray of hope. There is no area in Wales more suitable for this scheme, and I will outline the reasons for saying that. One is the contour and configuration of the land, which lends itself to this scheme. Where else in other parts of Wales can one find a natural lake situated in the hills which will supply the lake which is to be built below? The second is that there will be a minimum of human dislocation. It does not mean wholesale uprooting of families from their homes. It may mean the uprooting of one or two families, but they will be given houses in the near vicinity. Moreover, there is no loss of valuable agricultural land. The whole area lends itself to this scheme.

As I have already mentioned, the county council is behind it, the Ffestiniog council is behind it, and other interested bodies are behind it. It has the undivided approval of the people on the spot, who are the people best able to judge.

My last point is on the question of amenities. I have no desire to be uncharitable. I think, however, it is necessary to point out that every form of cultural landscape must inevitably limit the natural landscape. I think that stands to reason. If we build a house or construct a road or railroad, forming thereby a cultural landscape, it will necessarily have an effect on the natural landscape. We human beings have to walk and carry things about. Consequently, roads and railroads have to be built. The same thing applies here. If we are to live in Wales—and people have to live on something more substantial than fresh air and beautiful scenery—it is necessary to introduce a cultural landscape in the highest form of amenity.

I know that there are outside bodies which try to teach us in Wales how to look after our scenery. These bodies—I do not want to be uncharitable—are often self-constituted bodies to look after the beauties of the Principality. They have launched protest after protest and have been successful in protest after protest, so that many a good scheme in Wales has been pigeon-holed and many a good scheme has been delayed because of the protests of these bodies. These bodies from which all these protests come thrive on protests. I am sorry to say that as they thrive the inhabitants decline, and I think the time has arrived when we must stand up for the welfare of the inhabitants.

Therefore, I support the Bill because it adds to the economic resources of the country, because it has been so drawn as not to cast a blot upon the landscape, and because it brings a ray of hope, a gleam through the gloom which is overhanging this unfortunate area. The gleam may be temporary, but—who knows?—it may prove to be the beginning of a new era of prosperity.

8.36 p.m.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts (Caernarvon)

I had not intended to intervene in the debate, as the proposed scheme does not directly affect me or the people I represent, but, having heard the debate so far, I would say a few words about the three main preoccupations which affect the people of Wales when schemes of this nature are proposed. Perhaps, the Parliamentary Secretary would like to know what they feel about these schemes that are brought forward by these rather impersonal corporations.

We feel, first, that the schemes are propounded without the slightest relation to the needs of the population immediately affected. I entirely agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) that a scheme of this sort is bound to have United Kingdom economic relevance. We understand that perfectly, but we wish that the United Kingdom corporations, in this case the Central Electricity Authority, would study imaginatively the impact of this kind of scheme on the people most affected, and try to work into it an immediacy of benefit to the people from whom most of the contribution in amenity is expected. That is our first point.

Secondly, there is the feeling that, after all, the scenic amenities which we have in Wales need to be protected. I entirely agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Mr. Idwal Jones) that too much can be made by the wrong people of those scenic amenities and of tourism. I am going to stick my neck out and say that I think too much is said about the importance of tourism as a staple industry in Wales. It is a large industry, but its blessings economically are very mixed. We have in Wales only a very short summer, six, eight, perhaps ten weeks—and, of course, there are the Bank holidays and Christmas. Tourism as a staple industry is really not important to the basic life of the vast majority of the people of Wales, even of North Wales, I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to remember that.

I would remind the House of the debate we had three years ago, when the case was made about appropriate schemes of this kind in Wales and about proper protection for the amenities. As a result of that, I think, the present proposals, as contained in Clause 26 of the Bill, make fair provision—I should say, adequate provision—for the preservation of scenery and other amenities. I shall not read out the Clause because it is very long, but subsection (1) governs the scheme in its relation to both the Rheidol Valley and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power will reassure us on that point. I hope that the first part of Clause 26 governs the operation of the scheme in its excavatory character, both in respect of Cwm Rheidol and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Bound up with the feeling that the schemes are brought up in Wales with very little concern for the immediate benefit of the rural population, and that our scenic amenities may be rather arbitrarily affected, there is a feeling about the schemes coming to us, at it were, from over the border. I do not want to be unreasonable, but we feel that this is Wales and that these United Kingdom corporations, acting according to the lights of the statutes imposed upon them, come along and propose schemes without proper consultation with the people of Wales, locally and nationally.

I hope that the debate, like other similar debates, will cause the Government to re-examine once again the case for an electricity authority in Wales, in respect of certain aspects of the work to be done, which will mobilise both the good will and the energy of the Welsh people in the use which is to be made of their natural resources—not only of the scenery but of the water power. I throw that out once more as a suggestion. It is really important that schemes of this kind should arise partly at least from the desires and the activities of the people who are most closely concerned.

8.42 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Mr. L. W. Joynson-Hicks)

I should like to deal with the points which were put to me by the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. G. Roberts), but his questions are not questions which I can answer, because this is a Private Bill and I am not speaking on behalf of the promoters of the Bill in the same sense as one speaks on behalf of a Departmental Bill. I think that the House understands the difficulty that that creates.

As to the hon. Member's first point, on the desire for better local contacts and what is best described as public relations on the part of an authority or a nationalised board with the residents in the locality, I feel sure that the Central Electricity Authority as well as both the electricity boards operating within Wales will take heed of the hon. Member's words. I am sure that it would be their wish to try to take all steps to ensure that their relations are as good and as full as they possibly can be.

I shall be saying something later on about amenities but, on the hon. Member's particular point about Clause 26, I am sure that he will not expect me to interpret the Bill to him. That is not within my province at all, but, speaking personally, I do not think that there can be any doubt at all about the meaning of the words, In the construction and maintenance of the works authorised by this Act the Authority shall have regard"— to the preservation of the amenities. That must clearly apply to both schemes and all the works proposed under the Bill.

The hon. Member sought to take me rather wide of the mark in proposing a specific electricity authority in Wales. I am afraid that he must allow me to wait for another and more suitable occasion to repeat to him the arguments which I have repeated in the past on similar suitable occasions.

I think it is usual in these debates for the House to want to hear the Government's views about the Private Bills that we debate and it is, therefore, my intention to try to give that information, as shortly and as helpfully as I can to the House. I should like to say that I am personally very grateful to the hon. Members who have expressed their views, because it is always helpful to us to know what those views are on a subject of this kind. Perhaps, as I am in favour of the Bill receiving a Second Reading, I am more grateful to those who have expressed views which are in accord with my own personal views than to those who have expressed themselves in the contrary direction. Nevertheless, I think it would be of some help if I ran briefly through the history of this matter, because it does go back quite a long time.

The hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) referred to some action taken by his right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker), who, we all regret, is not with us during this debate, because he has always taken a very constructive and helpful part in these subjects, and I personally know that he has in days gone by traversed on foot the ground which is affected by this scheme in order to investigate the position for himself.

The hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East was quite right in saying that the present proposals of the Ffestiniog scheme—and I apologise for my pronunciation—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, very good."]—are not the same as those of the earlier scheme. The point that I am seeking to make is that the area of territory which is affected is substantially or broadly the same area of territory, the effect upon which was approved by the right hon. Gentleman in 1951. Although the scheme is different, and this is a proposal for a bigger capacity and a more expensive scheme, the amenity aspect is not substantially differently affected by this scheme.

As far as the Rheidol scheme is concerned, this again is a different scheme from the one which was originally proposed, but, once again, the proposals which the right hon. Gentleman approved in 1951 affected very largely the same amenity territory as is affected by this scheme. That is the only point I was seeking to make in that connection.

As the House is aware, a General Election intervened before the approval given by the right hon. Gentleman could take effect, and, therefore, after the Election of 1951, my right hon. Friend, who then became Minister of Fuel and Power, confirmed the approval, and the schemes, which included the territories affected by these two scheme in the proposals in the form in which they were then contained, came before this House, which approved the Second Reading of the Private Bill at that time.

That scheme was subsequently withdrawn for various reasons, mostly of a technical character, which were ascertained after the Second Reading of the Bill, which made it desirable that the Central Electricity Authority, or, as it then was, the British Electricity Authority, should take them back and reconsider them. After further consultation, these revised proposals have been brought forward again, and again my right hon. Friend has given his consent on these grounds—that, in his view, the consultations which the Authority has had with the various societies and authorities particularly interested in amenity subjects had resulted in a broad measure of substantial agreement between those societies and the Authority.

Mr. Nabarro

My hon. Friend says that schemes contained in the last Bill were withdrawn for technical reasons. I have been trying to find out what the technical reasons were. Can we be told what they were? The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) was at pains to impress upon the House earlier how careful the Authority was before it presented its proposals. Yet within three months of presenting them in 1952 the Authority capitulated on technical grounds.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I think it would not be difficult to satisfy my hon. Friend, but I do not think this is the right opportunity for doing so because the point is concerned primarily with schemes not contained in this Bill. However, the primary cause in the case of the Ffestiniog scheme was a geological one; owing to the fissured character of the ground then proposed for the containing of the water, it was found that it would be necessary to go to the expense of concreting.

Mr. Blenkinsop

My right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) said very clearly in the debate on 1st April, 1952: When I agreed to these three projects,"— that included the smaller Ffestiniog scheme, but not the Rheidol scheme— I warned everybody in the clearest terms that, if I continued to hold that office, I would probably not agree, either then or in the future, to any other scheme."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st April, 1952; Vol. 498, c. 1519.] That seems to make my right hon. Friend's position very clear.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I think the right hon. Gentleman had previously approved a Rheidol scheme, although the present Rheidol scheme had not come before the House at that time.

The other reasons why my right hon. Friend particularly gave his consent on this occasion was that, in his view, the scheme is a useful contribution towards the production of electricity, which we all need; it is an economical and efficient method of doing so; and it is a coal-saver.

The Bill has already passed through another place, and on Second Reading there certain aspects were very carefully considered indeed and a direction was given to the Select Committee concerning the agricultural aspect. The Select Committee reported, among other things—I think one is justified in quoting the report, for it is a published document—that the total area lost to agriculture—I am dealing with this particularly because my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Kirk) was referring to the agricultural aspect—does not exceed 800 acres taking the two schemes together, and of that area 750 acres are fit for hill pastures only. In consequence of that, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was satisfied that it was not necessary for him to intervene in connection with the Bill owing to the relatively small production from the land which was affected.

Another aspect of the matter which particularly attracted attention in another place, as it has done here, is the amenity aspect. The Committee in another place considered the question in great detail, and as a result of its consideration substantial adjustments were made in the schemes as they were proposed, and the vast majority of the pipelines to which objection was taken are proposed to be laid underground, which is a very considerable help.

The hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) asked me for an assurance. He must know from his own experience that it is impossible for a Minister to give an assurance upon a matter of this sort because he has not the power or the authority to see that his assurance is carried out. If an assurance is to be given, it would have to be by the Electricity Authority itself. I hope to be able to convince him without such an assurance.

The hon. Gentleman has read the protection which already exists in the Bill. It is exceedingly wide. I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman knows that when the matter was before another place, the Committee heard petitions against the Bill from—or let me say, first, that petitions were lodged against the Bill by the Montgomeryshire and Cardiganshire County Councils, the Aberystwyth Corporation and the South-West Wales River Board. All these petitions were withdrawn before the Committee stage of the Bill as a result of the undertaking which the Authority gave to provide protective Clauses in the Bill. So, evidently, the Authority is not loth to provide undertakings to afford the protection which the local authorities considered necessary.

Petitions were heard from the Council for the Preservation of Rural Wales, the British Mountaineering Council, the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society, the Ramblers' Association, the Youth Hostels Association and the National Trust. I think, therefore, that we can safely consider that the matter has received full and careful consideration. The point which I wish to make tonight is that now that the Bill has been presented in this House, and the time for petitions has expired, there is no petition from anyone of these organisations at all. Nor is there any petition on any general ground of amenity whatsoever.

Mr. Ede (South Shields)

It is expensive.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

The right hon. Gentleman says that it is expensive. But if these societies thought fit to go to the expense of petitioning in one House it would be strange if they did not make their views known, either by way of petition or by some more direct means, in the other House, if they were not satisfied with the treatment they received in the House to which they went first.

The assumption must be that all these organisations have been satisfied on matters of amenity about which they were apprehensive, and that any remaining points which there may be are such as may perfectly well be dealt with during the Committee stage. I hope that the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East will consider that the action already taken, and the attitude of the many societies which have been concerned, is a sufficient safeguard for his conscience and will permit him to refrain from voting against the Measure on amenity grounds.

Let me now turn to the merits of the proposal, because it seems to be some time since we heard anything about that. Broadly speaking, the position about electricity in Wales is that last year, 1954–55, the maximum demand at any one moment was 730 megawatts and the maximum generating capacity at that time was 704 megawatts; showing a deficiency between the capacity and the maximum demand. By 1960–61 it is calculated that the estimated demand will rise to no fewer than 1,100 megawatts. This illustrates the rapidity with which the boards are developing the countryside as well as the powerful industrial and domestic amenities. It will, therefore, be clear to the House that the provision of further generating capacity is essential in one form or another. The question is how that is to be provided, whether by the natural resources of the country or by coal-raised steam or oil-raised steam, My hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) referred to these schemes as the first of a series, or at any rate as a continuation of a series, of hydro-electric schemes of which many others would be coming along. I can only tell the House that my right hon. Friend and I have no knowledge of any other schemes of a hydro-electric character which are to be brought forward in Wales at present. It may be that my hon. Friend knows better than but I can only say that we have no knowledge of such schemes.

Mr. Nabarro

The statutory position is that my right hon. Friend gives sanction to the Authority to bring in Bills of this sort and the Authority asks for one scheme at a time. It is a well-known fact that in the headquarters of the area board concerned the whole of four succeeding schemes have been completed, and in due course they will form the subject of an application to the Minister for sanction to bring in Bills.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I am not quite sure whether my hon. Friend and I are referring to the same things, because these proposals arose from the Central Electricity Authority and not from the area board.

Mr. Nabarro

Splitting hairs.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I am trying to be as helpful as I can, and I can only repeat that we have no knowledge, either officially or unofficially, if I may put it that way, of any proposals for bringing forward further schemes of this sort.

I will now pass to some of the more detailed aspects of the matter, although I do not want to get involved in too much detail because I feel that that is a matter for the Committee stage and not for the Second Reading of a Bill of this sort. There has been a good deal of challenge as to the technical and economic merits of these schemes. I think that before the House decides it is only fair to try and put such information as I have before it.

The Ffestiniog scheme is, as I think one hon. Member mentioned, the largest proposal for a pump storage scheme in the world, so that if it goes through Wales will have another record to put to its credit. Its capacity will be about 300 megawatts, which is not in itself a very big station, but it is a very useful contribution towards the production of electricity in the area. It should be completed in steps of 100 megawatts annually between 1961 and 1964.

The cost will be £14¿ million compared with £25¼ million for a 300megawatt station burning coal with which to raise power by steam, so that there is an actual saving in capital costs there. The cost works out at £49 per kilowatt installed, which is the usual measurement, as the hon. Member for Cleveland (Mr. Palmer) will understand, as against the accepted current figure for a coal-fired steam-raising plant of £65 per kilowatt installed.

This means that electricity will be produced there at a figure of -6d. per unit as against the normal figure of a modern, efficient coal-fired steam-raising plant of 62d. Therefore, in capital costs and in unit production costs this is a cheaper station than a comparable coal-burning station.

It has one further very great advantage. As the House is aware, it is a peak load station. During the off-peak load period it refreshes itself, so to speak, by receiving electricity from the grid when a surplus of electricty is being produced in the base load stations—which have to operate at night in excess of the demand for electricity—and using that electricity constructively to pump water back into the upper reservoir so that it has power available at peak hours on the following day to operate its own generators.

When we advance further and run our base load stations on nuclear power instead of steam, the immediate advantage will be seen, because we shall save the whole cost of the coal which is burnt in order to produce electricity used to pump the water up again. At present, that cannot be saved because the coal-fired station has to be kept in operation overnight, as it is a base load station, but when it is burning only nuclear energy—in which case the station also has to be kept going all night—the cost of the coal is saved. This scheme represents the ideal and most beneficial way of using the new method and the old method in harness.

I now turn to the Rheidol scheme. This is also a very unusual type of hydroelectric scheme. The Ffestiniog scheme was unusual because it was the biggest pump-storage scheme in the world. The Rheidol scheme is unusual because it will use water over a drop of 950 feet. We sometimes think of the Niagara Falls as carrying a lot of water down a steep place very fast and rather far, but the drop in the Niagara Falls is only about 120 feet, and power is generated in a different way. In this case the drop is 950 feet, which creates considerable engineering difficulties.

To harness the natural resources of the country the scheme has been constructed in three steps. The top reservoir will be 1100 feet above sea level; the middle reservoir will be 830 feet above sea level, and the regulating pond at the bottom will be 150 feet above sea level. There are three stations, one at each level. The first produces 12 megawatts; the second, 36 megawatts; and the third—which is a little chap constructed so as not to waste the available power from the pond —one megawatt.

I now turn to the argument advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster.

Mr. Nabarro

Before my hon. Friend leaves the Rheidol scheme, I would point out that a few moments ago he laboured the economy in cost per kilowatt installed in respect of the Ffestiniog scheme, because it happened to suit his argument. He said that the cost was £49 per kilowatt installed. He has now referred to the Rheidol scheme, which will cost £118 per kilowatt installed, which is nearly double the cost of a steam station.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

That is the point which I was going to argue with my hon. Friend.

Mr. Nabarro

The Minister said that he was going to turn to coal.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I said I was going to turn to my hon. Friend's argument. As he quite rightly says, the cost of the Rheidol scheme is £5¿ million, which represents about £118 per kilowatt installed. My hon. Friend says that these schemes, between them, are the equivalent of an expenditure of £290 to save one ton of coal——

Mr. Nabarro

Per annum.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

Per annum—but that argument, as I understand it, is based upon a comparison of the capital cost of putting up this station—namely, £20 million—and the amount of coal saved in the operation. That is not the correct basis of computation at all, and it contains a fallacy, because it omits to take into account the fact that the operation is producing electricity. The object of this exercise is to produce electricity. If my hon. Friend wants to produce 350 megawatts of electricity—which is the amount we produce by these two schemes—at current rates by coal-fired steam stations, it will cost him £27 million.

Mr. Nabarro


Mr. Joynson-Hicks

My hon. Friend says "rubbish." I assure him that it is not rubbish. That is the approximate capital cost for a station of that size, whereas the capital cost for these stations is £20 million. Therefore, not only are we getting the 350 megawatts at a cheaper rate but are also saving that amount of coal.

My hon. Friend also said that the better way of providing for a peak load of electricity was by the installation of a small diesel-oil powered plant—I think it was—to produce for a short period electricity to meet the essential peak, and to bolster up the supplies from the peak-load stations. He cited Aberystwyth. The cost of electricity from those peak-load stations by hydro-electric methods is .6d. per unit. The cost of production in Aberystwyth by the oil-fired plant which they have there is 1.2d. per unit. Therefore, it is double the price.

I have detained the House longer than I intended, but I have tried to pick out such points as I could answer during the course of the debate. It is a matter of very real importance to the country as well as to the industry to be able to save in this particular locality as much as 70,000 tons of coal per annum. That is what it would necessitate burning, additional to what will be burnt to produce electricity to pump up the water to Ffestiniog if the whole of this electricity were produced by a coal-fired system.

It is true that these are peak-load stations, but we believe they are economical, from the information which has been given to us by the Central Electricity Authority. That is the reason why my right hon. Friend has granted his certificate. We believe that the system is efficient. Ffestiniog is a perfect complement to the development of nuclear power production of electricity, and Rheidol is itself a most useful coal saver.

One of my hon. Friends referred to the possibility of droughts at Rheidol. The average rainfall at Rheidol is 80 inches a year, and it has exceptionally gone up to something like 160 inches a year. We are hoping that from these points of view as well we shall be able to take the maximum possible advantage of natural conditions. We consider that these are useful if somewhat small schemes, and we commend them to the House.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Before the hon. Gentleman sits down, can he help us on one other point? He has made a most lucid and helpful exposition of the case, but many of us find ourselves in a real difficulty. Apart from the transmission lines, we have not any grave objection to the Ffestiniog scheme. Certainly, the last thing any of us would want to do is to act contrary to the constituents of my hon. Friend the Member for Merioneth (Mr. T. W. Jones). Therefore, we do not want to vote against this Measure.

On the other hand, we have very grave misgivings indeed about the Rheidol scheme. The hon. Gentleman will have noticed that most of the criticisms tonight have been directed towards that particular scheme. We appreciate that the Minister cannot commit the Central Electricity Authority on this point, but can he give an assurance that he will put to it the criticisms which have been made in this debate, and see whether, perhaps, during the further stages of the Bill it might be possible for the Authority to consider going somewhat further towards meeting the criticisms than it has been able to do so far?

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I do not think that transmission lines come into this Measure, but are dealt with under the normal procedure applicable to transmission lines. There is no reference to them in the Bill itself. I can assure the House that I will convey to the Authority the feelings of the House about amenities. If I might suggest it, I think that it might be helpful if I invited the Authority to meet hon. Members who are concerned about this. I am quite sure that its representatives would be only too delighted to meet hon. Members, although, as the House appreciates, I cannot commit the Authority to do so. I do know that it has endeavoured—and hopes that it has succeeded—to fulfil most of the requirements of the amenity interests. I believe that it has done very much more than many hon. Members seem to appreciate. I think that such a meeting, which hon. Members could attend and then inform the House, would be very helpful.

Mr. C. Davies

The hon. Gentleman is apparently suggesting that the Authority should meet some bodies outside Wales. I should have thought that the people living on the spot throughout the year—who are more concerned about their amenities at all times of the year than are those occasionally visiting the district—should also be consulted.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I had not in mind consultation of the sort to which I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman refers. Those bodies have already been consulted. I have in mind more particularly representatives of Welsh interests in the House who might wish to meet representatives of the Central Electricity Authority in order to see whether the criticisms expressed could be overcome. I do not think that it would be setting a precedent or creating any difficulty to have such a meeting.

9.18 p.m.

Mr. Ede (South Shields)

I am sure that the House will be grateful for what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, and in particular for his reply to the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro). I should like to express my sympathy with him in the interruptions to which he was subjected by the hon. Member for Kidderminster when trying to give a detailed, technical reply to the statements that had been made. His answer was complete and convincing. The air of great superiority with which the hon. Member for Kidderminster addressed us when moving the rejection of the Bill was, I think, suitably modified by the modest way in which the Parliamentary Secretary gave us the actual facts of the situation.

There was one point in the speech of the hon. Member for Kidderminster which impressed me, and I hope that we may have an assurance about it. Undoubtedly, the load factor at these stations does appear to be very low. The hon. Gentleman mentions the very considerable increase in the demand for electricity that is anticipated during the next five or six years. May I take it that the increased demand during that time will result in some improvement in that load factor? If so, it would very considerably modify some of the estimates of cost that have been made.

I have this to say about amenities. People still believe that the most beautiful parts of this country—and I mean both England and Wales—are the results of what nature did. Most of the beauties of this country in the last 200 years have been created, first, by the efforts of a gentleman known as Mr. Capability Brown. He took places that were quite uninteresting and, by the skilful use of plantations of trees and by the creation of artificial water, gave to those places a distinction and a beauty that today is sometimes ascribed to a power even higher than Mr. Capability Brown. One is reminded of the gardener who, when he was congratulated by the local parson on what he was doing with the assistance of a Higher Power, replied, "You ought to have seen the place when the Higher Power had it to Himself."

Those of us who can recall some of the schemes for reservoirs in different parts of the country where attention has been paid to preserving, and even adding to, the natural advantages of the landscape, know the capabilities there are here. I recollect many debates in this House on Glen Affric. I suggest to anyone who doubts the capability of hydroelectric schemes to add to the beauty of an already beautiful district that they should see Glen Affric now, particularly that they should go to Loch Mollardoch, which was quite inaccessible before the hydro-electric board made it accessible to the general community.

Barrator, the reservoir which supplies Plymouth, is another notable example of the way in which planned water can add to what before the water was placed there was already a beautiful district. I am not at all sure that even Thirlmere is not better than it was, although there—

despite the heavy rainfall—occasionally drought seems to lower the water detrimentally to the landscape.

I say this because I want my hon. Friends and friends outside this House to realise what has been done in the past and which, with the far greater resources which civil engineers have in these days, can be repeated. If the schemes are properly used they can be not merely useful, but add greatly to the permanent beauty of our beautiful island. I sincerely trust that tonight it will not be thought necessary to divide against this Bill.

Question put, That "now" stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 129, Noes 23.

Division No. 22.] AYES [9.24 p.m
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Holmes, Horace Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Anstruther-Cray, Major W. J. Howard, John (Test) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Armstrong, C. W. Hubbard, T. F. Parker, J.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J, M. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Pott, H. P.
Balniel, Lord Hughes, Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Barber, Anthony Hunter, A. E. Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Bidgood, J. C. Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh W.) Probert, A. R.
Bishop, F. P. Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H. Proctor, W. T.
Blackburn, F. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Raikes, Sir Victor
Bottom, Sir A, C. Iremonger, T. L. Redmayne, M.
Bowden, H. w. (Leicester, S.W.) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Roper, Sir Harold
Boyle, Sir Edward Johnson, James (Rugby) Ross, William
Brockway, A. F. Jones, Rt. Hon.A. Creech (Wakefield) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Buohan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T, Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Cary, Sir Robert Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Channon, H. Kershaw, J. A. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Clunie, J. Lagden, G. W. Sparks, J. A.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Langford-Holt, J. A. Spearman, A. C. M.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hn. H. F. C. Lawton, G. M. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Currie, G. B. H. Leavey, J. A. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Storey, S.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Legh, Hon, Peter (Petersfield) Studholme, H. G.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Errington, Sir Erie Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Farey-Jones, F. W. MoCallum, Major Sir Duncan Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) McKay, John (Wallsend) Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Gibson, C. W. McLean, Neil (Inverness) Touche, Sir Gordon
Godber, J. B. Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Graham, Sir Fergus Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr R. (Nantwich) Maddan, Martin Vickers, Miss J. H.
Green, A. Mahon, S Wall, Major Patrick
Greenwood, Anthony Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Warbey, W. N.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfd, E.) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Gurden, Harold Mawby, R. L. Whitelaw, W. S. I.(Penrith & Border)
Hale, Leslie Medlicott, Sir Frank Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne valley) Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mitchlson, G. R. Willie, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Harris, Reader (Heston) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Wills, C. (Bridgwater)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Moyle, A. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Nicholls, Harmar rates, V. (Ladywood)
Heath, Edward O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Oswald, T. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Holman, P. Palmer, A. M. F. Mr. P. Thomas and
Mr. T. W. Jones.
Aitken, W. T. Drayson, G. B. Powell, J.Enooh
Baldwin, A. E. Freeth, D. K. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Barlow, Sir John Clover, D. Summers, G. S. (Aylesbury)
Barter, John Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Body, R.F. Kerby, Capt. H. B. Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Bryan, P. Mathew, R.
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Crouch, R. F. Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Mr. Nabarro and Mr. Kirk.
Doughty, C. J. A. Page, R. C.

Question put and agreed to.