HC Deb 08 February 1960 vol 617 cc7-8
9. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister of Power what progress has been made with the project to establish a high pressure gas grid system across the Midlands and up to London; and whether he will make a statement.

The Minister of Power (Mr. Richard Wood)

I hope, Mr. Speaker, that I may, with the indulgence of the House, remain standing while answering Questions.

Mr. Speaker

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will do so both today and also on any future occasion when it may prove convenient to him.

Mr. Wood

I am much obliged, Sir.

The Answer to Question No. 9 is as follows:

The Gas Council is examining such a project, but has not yet reached firm conclusions.

Mr. Wyatt

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the proposal was first made some years ago, that it could, if implemented, reduce the cost of production of gas by about a quarter, saving the British coal industry by so doing, and that the whole scheme could be put into operation in three years' time if it were begun now and all the delays ceased?

Mr. Wood

I share the hon. Gentleman's wish to make progress in this matter. There are a number of factors which are difficult. There is the question of the bulk production of cheap gas under pressure beyond the needs of one board, and there is also the question of the possibility of underground storage. I should like to see progress made, and I can give an undertaking that I will ask the Gas Council whether it can make progress fairly quickly.

Mr. Wyatt

I thank the right hon. Gentleman very much.