HC Deb 21 June 1972 vol 839 cc447-8
5. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what increase per annum is estimated on energy demand in Scotland over the next 10 years; and what influence it will have in his future responsibilities for the siting of new power stations.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

The Scottish electricity boards' estimate of future demand and their proposals for meeting it are set out in their booklet "Plans for the Future 1971–78", copies of which were placed in the Vote Office in January. I shall continue to reach decisions on the siting of new power stations in the light of likely load demands and under the appropriate statutory procedures.

Mr. Eadie

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his answer will be regarded as very evasive? It is well known that because of the policy of the present Government in running down the state of the economy, we have not had the growth in energy that we should have had if we had had a Government which had been able to pursue policies of economic growth. Will the right hon. Gentleman give a guarantee that, despite the follies of a Tory Chancellor in trying to manage the economy, Scotland will not be robbed of any new economic energy potential envisaged by the Government?

Mr. Campbell

On the first point, unlike the previous Government, the present Government's policy is aimed at promoting growth. On the second point, I can give the assurance requested.

Mr. Douglas

Will the right hon. Gentleman acknowledge that his Administration is not to publish the Vinter Report? Will he accept that from the point of view of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board it is absolutely essential that a decision should be made as soon as possible concerning a power station at Stake Ness?

Mr. Campbell

As I have stated before, further supplies of electricity will be required in the area of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board in 1978. There is no doubt that the necessary power station will be built and will be in operation by that date.

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