HC Deb 03 November 1958 vol 594 cc593-4
33. Sir A. Baldwin

asked the Paymaster-General whether, in view of the increasing demand for the extension of electricity supplies in rural areas, he will reinstate the cut made in the amount of money allocated for the 1958–59 rural development programme.

Sir I. Horobin

The area electricity boards have made such good progress with rural electrification that they are now ahead of the long-term programme for bringing supplies to farms adopted in 1953. Nevertheless, the needs of rural areas will be kept in mind in any review of investment in the electricity industry.

Sir A. Baldwin

My Question refers to the cut in the programme for 1957–58. I am asking that that cut should be reinstated so that the boards can continue their rural development. At the present time, it is extraordinary that a cut should be made on these boards when we are encouraging the sale of television sots, refrigerators and so on.

Sir I. Horobin

As I have already informed the House and my hon. Friend, the possibility of even faster progress in a small number of farms and other villages not yet connected is being considered. My hon. Friend must bear in mind, as regards premises other than farms, that we have already electrified 90 per cent., and not very much short of that in the case of farms. Therefore, we are not doing too badly.

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