HC Deb 20 May 1957 vol 570 cc831-2
1. Mr. Kimball

asked the Paymaster-General if he will give a general direction to the Central Electricity Authority to speed up the development of electrical schemes in rural areas.

The Paymaster-General (Mr. Reginald Maudling)

The boards are well ahead of their programme for rural electrification and no such direction is needed.

Mr. Kimball

Whilst congratulating my right hon. Friend on the progress that has been made, may I ask him if he is aware that recently there have been many complaints from farmers in my division that they are unable to get labour for some of the outlying farms, that they get no priority for electricity unless they intend to install grain dryers, that many small farmers on the wolds do not want grain dryers and cannot afford them, but that they would like priority for their milking equipment?

Mr. Maudling

I am aware of these difficulties and so are the electricity boards. In fact, in the East Midlands and Yorkshire areas, which are the areas concerned, about 85 per cent. of the farms have been connected compared with the national average of 69 per cent. That shows that the boards are well aware of the problem, but I can understand that in individual cases difficulty remains.