HC Deb 01 February 1966 vol 723 cc873-4
28. Mr. Horner

asked the Minister of Power when the first underground gas holder will be in use.

Mr. Frederick Lee

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Sutton Cold-field (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd) on 31st January.

Mr. Horner

Can the Minister assure the House that in its planning and forward thinking in this respect the Gas Council is making the maximum use of the powers recently given to it by the House in the last Gas Act, after much procrastination on the part of the previous Administration?

Mr. Lee

I think that the Gas Council is doing that, but I am in constant touch with it. I want the Council to proceed as rapidly as possible with interconnection of boards, the use of underground storage and the other facilities that we have given it. I am sure that it is very conscious of the need to press on with this work, and I can tell my hon. Friend that both the Gas Council and the Government are proceeding as rapidly as possible with these developments.

Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what are his plans, if any, for the storage of gas underground at Chilcomb near Winchester?

Mr. Lee

I understand that the Council is looking at two sites, one in the Cotswolds and the other in Lincolnshire, but this is subject to a full analysis to guarantee safety, which cannot be done immediately, and until this is done it cannot proceed.