HC Deb 06 April 1965 vol 710 cc220-1
5. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Power what decision has been reached about the second nuclear power programme.

20. Mr. Peyton

asked the Minister of Power if he will make a statement on future developments of nuclear power in the electricity supply industry.

Mr. Frederick Lee

I have nothing to add to the replies I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, Central (Mr. Palmer) on 1st December and to the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) on 26th February.

Mr. Digby

When will the Government reach a decision about this, and what is the reason for the delay? Is it because of the high capital expenditure involved, or because the Government cannot make up their mind between the different reactor systems involved?

Mr. Lee

It is not a bad idea for the Government to wait until they have received the views of the A.E.A. and other interested parties. We have not yet reached that point. The tenders must go through a meticulous and detailed examination. However, as I have told the House before, the moment we make a decision we will advise the House on it.

Mr. Peyton

But does not the Minister recall that he promised the House a statement in February? We have now gone past February. Will he bear in mind that it is urgent that a decision should be made in this very important matter as soon as possible?

Mr. Lee

I think that the hon. Gentleman is confusing two or three things. What I said was that the tenders were received on 1st February. I have certainly never said to the House that we could give a decision in February. This is a long and complicated process. I repeat that I will make a statement as soon as possible.

Mr. Maxwell

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, because the former Administration hurried their decision on nuclear power, they wasted several hundred million pounds of the nation"s money and that we would be best off if he took his time on this issue?