HC Deb 25 October 1972 vol 843 c1182
21. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on electricity policy for Scotland.

Mr. Younger

The Scottish electricity board's proposals for meeting Scotland's future needs were set out in their brochure "Plans for the Future 1971–78", copies of which were placed in the Vote Office in January, and since then the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board has decided to proceed with an oil/gasfired power station near Peterhead.

Mr. Douglas

Will the Minister take this opportunity to dispel the rumour that there is to be an amalgamation of the two boards? Secondly, will he tell us when he proposes to make a statement on energy policy for Scotland, particularly on the future of the Scottish coal-mining industry?

Mr. Younger

The second part of the supplementary question should correctly be directed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, who deals with fuel policy generally. As for the first part of the question, I have no plans for amalgamation of the two boards. I am sure that the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and the South of Scotland Electricity Board will continue the close co-operation which can best secure the interests of consumers in all parts of Scotland.

Sir J. Gilmour

As my right hon. Friend has control over the use of coal or gas in electricity generation, would it not be right now to withdraw the surcharge on oil?

Mr. Younger

I note what my hon. Friend has said, but that again is a matter which would have to be directed to the Ministers whose responsibility it is.