HC Deb 21 March 1962 vol 656 cc374-5
19. Mr. Millan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the South of Scotland Electricity Board and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board on the proposal in Command Paper No. 1337. The Financial and Economic Obligations of the Nationalised Industries, that the boards should finance a larger percentage of their capital requirements from revenue; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooman-White

My right hon. Friend hopes to be able to make a statement next week.

Mr. Millan

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the South of Scotland Electricity Board has already imposed price increases of rather more than 10 per cent. and that the Hydro Electric Board has also given notice that it will be imposing price increases? When this statement is made, will it include an estimate of the extent to which these price increases are attributable to direct Government policy, so that at least we can know where responsibility lies, particularly in this period when on the one hand the Government are putting up prices and on the other trying to impose a pay pause?

Mr. Brooman-White

It would not be wise for me to anticipate the statement. We will take note of what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. W. Hamilton

Will the hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that when this statement is made it will include all the nationalised industries, since not only the electricity but the gas boards are putting up prices? Is he aware that there is a feeling in the country that these increases are entirely due to the policy enunciated in the White Paper, and that it seems to be a contradiction in the Government's policy that they should be appealing for wage restraint at the same time as they are deliberately putting up prices?

Mr. Brooman-White

My right hon. Friend's statement will be concerned with electricity.