HC Deb 10 February 1958 vol 582 cc23-4
42. Mr. John Hall

asked the Paymaster-General the total of sales of electricity to farm premises measured in kilowatts in 1951 and 1957.

Sir I. Horobin

It is not possible to measure sales in kilowatts. Sales of electricity to farm premises in England and Wales were 490 million kilowatt-hours in 1951 and about 1,220 million kilowatt-hours in 1957.

Mr. Hall

While thanking my hon. Friend for that correction, may I ask whether he agrees that this increase in consumption is a good and fair measure of the increased rural electrification programme? Can he assure us that there will be no decrease in the pace of that programme in the coming year?

Sir I. Horobin

I do not think I could give that assurance, but certainly this dramatic increase is one more instance of some practical work done for the improvement of the countryside, and naturally we hope that it will continue.

Mr. T. Williams

Is it not the case that pre-war the average number of farms connected with electricity was 4,000 a year whereas since nationalisation it has been averaging about 12,000 a year?

Sir I. Horobin

The right hon. Gentleman must not do this post hoc-propter hoc on every occasion. Electricity is growing quite irrespective of party political slogans.