HC Deb 25 February 1958 vol 583 cc189-90
29. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in view of the information which he has received from the honourable Member for Caithness and Sutherland, he will now give a general direction to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board not to defer connecting applicants for electricity for the sole reason that the necessary cables have to be laid underground.

Mr. Maclay

No, Sir. As I have explained to my hon. Friend, such matters have to be considered in relation to what is practicable in each particular case, and that is a matter for the Board.

Sir D. Robertson

Is it not the case that throughout its history the Hydro-Electric Board has refused to lay any cables underground and that great pressure has had to be brought upon it? Is it not the case also that, in the small town of Wick, fifteen applicants have been waiting for years and that the sole reason for the Board's refusing to take the light to them is the expense of putting the cables underground, which is common practice throughout the country?

Mr. Maclay

I know very well my hon. Friend's concern about this matter, but, as I have stated, it is a matter for the Board, and I do not see that I have any powers which I could use in this particular case.