HC Deb 23 November 1965 vol 721 cc233-4
32. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Power whether he will issue a general direction, in the public interest, to the Central Electricity Generating Board to import electrical power from West Germany to overcome shortages in this country, having regard to the earlier hour of factory closing in Germany compared with this country in winter.

Mr. Frederick Lee

Arrangements for the exchange of power with Western Germany would be very costly and present severe technical difficulties. They could not be made in time to help overcome the present shortage of plant in this country.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

As German factories close at 4 p.m. our time, would it not be easy to lay a cable across the North Sea and to pump in electricity from the Continent as we do from France and so have a supply of electricity at the moment when our peak load is on?

Mr. Lee

I have looked closely at this, but we could not possibly arrange for it to be done in advance of catching up on the supply we have been discussing this afternoon. We are closely connected with France, and have been obtaining power from there as late as last night, to my knowledge. I can assure the hon. Member that although I have looked at the situation in the light of the present position, this would not help.