HC Deb 28 May 1968 vol 765 cc1518-9
34. Mr. Tom Boardman

asked the Minister of Power whether he will issue a general direction to the Central Electricity Generating Board to employ independent British engineering surveying and design consultants, in view of the importance of this type of work in the United Kingdom to such consultants to enable them to continue and to increase their contribution to United Kingdom invisible exports.

Mr. Freeson

No, Sir. The C.E.G.B. already employs consultants where appropriate. It also helps consultants operating overseas in a number of ways.

Mr. Boardman

Does not the Minister realise the enormous contribution to invisible exports made by consultants in such work? Will he give a general direction that they have the firm base of the nationalised industries making the maximum use of their services?

Mr. Freeson

There is no need for a general direction for this purpose. I have already said that the C.E.G.B. does assist in this respect.

Mr. Palmer

Does my hon. Friend agree that the C.E.G.B. has in its direct employment some of the ablest power supply engineers in the world? Therefore, if exports are to be assisted, that might well be done by the C.E.G.B. being allowed to give consultancy services abroad.

Mr. Freeson

It is certainly true that the C.E.G.B. employs some of the ablest people in this work. The latter part of my hon. Friend's question is a matter for the C.E.G.B. to take into account.