HC Deb 27 November 1963 vol 685 cc274-5
32. Mr. Manuel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the future power programme, and in particular the proposed 2,400 megawatt power station to be constructed at Irvine.

Mr. Noble

The future power programme of the Scottish Electricity Boards is set out in a brochure, Plans for the Future 1963–1970, copies of which are in the Vote Office. The brochure lists the stations which will be commissioned up to 1969. It contains no proposal for a new power station in Ayrshire and makes it clear that the decision on the type and location of new plant will depend on the economic merits of the alternatives available.

Mr. Manuel

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the wide publicity given in the Scottish Press last Thursday to the statement that a power station was to be constructed at Irvine in my constituency? Is he further aware of the increasing need for more electric power in the west of Scotland generally? If that is so, does he think that a new power station n will be required in the west? When does he think that would come about, and would Irvine be considered for it?

Mr. Noble

I am aware, as most hon. Members are, of many statements which appear in the Press. The decision on the location of the power station is a subject on which I should wait for advice from the South of Scotland Electricity Board. I dare say that Irvine might be the lucky place, but I have no information on that subject.

Mr. T. Fraser

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the brochure to which he referred deals only with England and Wales and not with Scotland, and that Irvine happens to be in Ayrshire in Scotland?

Mr. Noble

If the hon. Gentleman is right, I apologise. My brief says that it deals with Scotland.

Sir John MacLeod

Can my right hon. Friend say how many hydro-electric projects are awaiting ratification by the Scottish Office?

Mr. Noble

That is a different question, but the Hydro-Board has published four schemes.

33. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans there are for a new power station in Ayrshire; and if it is to use coal or oil.

Mr. Noble

I have answered Question No. 33 with the last Question.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Hughes

Can the right hon. Gentleman now use this opportunity to amplify what he has said, in view of the omissions and misunderstandings in his previous Answer? Does he not realise that there is intense interest in the west of Scotland, especially among the mining population, among people who want to know whether the Government have surrendered to the oil interests and are prepared to sacrifice the coal industry in the interests of oil?

Mr. Noble

I apologise to the hon. Member for not saying that Question No. 33 was being answered with Question No. 32. It was my mistake. But there was no question of any muddle in my previous Answer when I said that the question of the fuel to be used would be judged on its merits at the time.

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