§ Mr. Emery
I have little to add to my statement made in the Adjournment debate on 9th January. A tidal power station must be compared with the cheapest alternative source of electricity, which, in the future, is most likely to be nuclear. A recent review within my Department indicated that a barrage in the Severn would not be economically viable, but I stated that we would keep this matter under active review.
§ Mr. Adley
I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Does he not agree that unless and until a full hydrological survey of this project is undertaken nobody will be able to do other than put forward opinions as to its viability or otherwise? In view of his latest letter to me, will he now get together with the CEGB and Bristol University to see whether he is prepared to consider setting up just such a hydrological study?
§ Mr. Rose
Will the Minister also consider seriously the possibilities in relation to the Morecambe barrage and the Solway Firth? Will he consider the other tidal estuaries whose viabilities have now been affected by the sharp rise in oil prices? Will he look also at the coal mining industry in exactly the same way, because the economics are equally applicable and make complete nonsense of the Government's policy in relation to wages in the mining industry in the post-oil-crisis era?
§ Mr. Eadie
The hon. Gentleman will agree that the Adjournment debate was initiated by my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell). As the hon. Gentleman has said that the Government are making a reappraisal of indigenous energy resources because of the oil price and energy crisis, will he assure the House that in that reappraisal the Government are studying all aspects of indigenous energy resources? I emphasise the production of oil from coal and shale, which, as the hon. Gentleman knows, is to be found in the constituencies of West Lothian and Midlothian.