HC Deb 30 January 1964 vol 688 cc522-3
20. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development what action he has taken, in accordance with the Montreal Conference of 1958, to encourage British finance and electrical plant manufacturers jointly to tender for the plant and equipment, or specifications and designs required for the harnessing of tidal power in Western Australia, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, and other similar schemes in Australia, India, and New Zealand, and for the New Zealand Geothermal Schemes.

Mr. Heath

With encouragement from the British Government, British manufacturers have been supplying well over half of Australia's and New Zealand's imports of heavy electrical plant and about one-third of India's.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Does the Minister agree that the potentialities for large-scale electrical plant are greater in the world now than they have ever been? Is he aware that there is a French consortium now preparing specifications and designs for the harnessing of tidal power in Western Australia? As Britons, at Manchester University and at Trafford Park, were the pioneers of these things, will the Secretary of State take a special interest in this in order to ensure that we keep in the forefront of this type of development?

Mr. Heath

Yes, indeed. Of course we will do that. As to Australia in particular, we are in the current year carrying out a very large programme of British Weeks and the great Exhibition at Sydney. We shall take every opportunity of pressing on with this trade.