HC Deb 06 February 1968 vol 758 cc207-8
29. Mr. Biffen

asked the Minister of Power if he will make a statement on the expected growth in United Kingdom power station capacity between now and 1971, and the related movement in the gross domestic product giving rise to the industrial and domestic demands that will be put on that capacity; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeson

Capacity is expected to increase by about 22,000 MW between the end of 1967 and the end of 1971 and should be fully adequate to meet demand.

Mr. Biffen

Would the hon. Gentleman kindly address himself to the other part of the Question, which asks about the prospective movement of gross domestic product?

Mr. Freeson

That is not a matter for the Ministry of Power.

Mr. Palmer

Would my hon. Friend say that he is satisfied that, in the event of British productivity improving as it should in the next three or four years, there will be enough generating capacity to cope with it?

Mr. Freeson

I am quite satisfied that that will be the case.

Mr. Lubbock

As the hon. Gentleman is answering questions relating to the power supply for the whole of the United Kingdom, is he aware that the electricity supply in Northern Ireland is very uneconomic because of the fragmented nature of the utilities in that part of the Kingdom? Will he take steps to see that there are amalgamations to increase the efficiency of supply in Northern Ireland?

Mr. Freeson

The question is interesting, but it does not come within the purview of the Ministry of Power.

Mr. Emery

Would the hon. Gentleman go back to the original Question, part of which he has not answered? It asked him to relate capacity to the movement in the gross domestic product. We are not asking him to adjudicate on that, but certain figures have been given. On what basis is he working out his figures?

Mr. Freeson

The forecasts will be presented as usual by the industry and we will make decisions in the light of them. I said that we do not expect capacity to be below the levels which we foresee.

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