§ 2.36 p.m.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF DROGHEDA)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be read a Second time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Drogheda.)
§ LORD OGMORE
My Lords, I do not wish to detain your Lordships at any length on this Bill, but there is one point to which I think I ought to draw your attention. The object of this Bill has been described as a scheme to harness Snowdonia for the purpose of making electric current. While I have no objection to the economic reason, I believe that it is important that in one of the few regions which are left relatively untouched by the hand of man we should be careful to see that the beauty is preserved. By some oversight, only Stonehenge has so far not been utilised for some commercial purpose and, as your Lordships know, for many thousands of years has not earned its keep. To some extent, Snowdonia has done so, but it is now to be made to earn its keep to a greater extent than in the past. I should not Worry so much about the British Electricity Authority were it not that on Friday last, at a meeting of the Glamorgan County Planning Committee at Cardiff, the planning officer said of a project which the British Electricity Authority are putting up on their boundaries:A proposal of this kind would be most detrimental. It would really destroy a most beautiful valley.726 If the British Electricity Authority are capable of destroying a most beautiful valley in South Wales, there is no reason to suppose they would not be capable of destroying a beautiful valley in North Wales. I would ask the Committee, who in this context, I believe, is the Lord Chairman of Committees, to look into this point and ascertain whether Clause 23—the amenities clause—is strong enough to achieve its purpose, or whether it would not be better if the British Electricity Authority had to obtain the approval of various planning authorities rather than merely to consult them. I have no other objection to this Bill.
THE EARL OF DROGHEDA
My Lords, the House will understand that I in no sense speak for the promoters in this matter, but I will naturally bear in mind what the noble Lord has said.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed.