HC Deb 26 March 1956 vol 550 c1755
17. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what estimate he has made of the effect the recently announced reductions in the capital investment programme of the fuel and power industries will have on the gap between the output of indigenous energy and the expected national demand for energy over the next five years.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

I estimate that there will be practically no effect on the fuel gap.

Mr. Palmer

Would the Minister not agree that the country needs more, and not less, investment in the heavy basic fuel and power industries, and particularly the coal industry, if the industrial future of the country is to be safeguarded? Is not even a small cut in this sphere an extremely serious and dangerous matter?

Mr. Jones

Most certainly, I agree that investment in the basic industries is important, and it was for that reason that investment in coal production was untouched. On the other hand, it is quite wrong to look at investment in the abstract. It has to be considered in relation to savings, and it was because of the inadequacy of savings that these regrettable cuts in investment had to be made.

Forward to