HC Deb 28 March 1963 vol 674 cc1513-4
17. Sir H. Harrison

asked the Minister of Power whether he will issue a general direction to the electricity boards to act generously when approached by the authorities of places of religious worship for heating by electricity.

Mr. Wood

No, Sir. I think that matters of this kind are best left to the boards and the consultative councils.

Sir H. Harrison

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him to bear in mind in his talks with the heads of the different boards that in rural areas very often church and chapel authorities cannot make a decision to have electricity when it is first available, and then when they ask for it they are told that they must pay for the transformer as well? Could not the charge for transformers be borne by the board, because it is in the interests of all villagers that chapels and churches should be adequately heated?

Mr. Wood

I shall look further into this if my hon. and gallant Friend will give me the details, but it sounds as though it might involve selling electricity below cost to one consumer, which would necessarily involve an increase in cost to others.