§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a—(Lord Lyell.)
§ Lord FERRIER
My Lords, I regret that I was unable to attend the Second Reading of this Bill, because I have some knowledge of the islands where my son has a tradesman's business. It is proper that your Lordships' House should be assured that this Bill is very welcome to people in those parts. There was a time when island folk felt that they were hardly regarded as part of the community. It is well that we are ensuring that the island communities are kept alive. This is in parallel to what Norway is doing.
The Bill shows that Britain cares that the islands which surround it are in-habited by viable communities, and this is particularly important at present when it seems that the charge for electricity is to be increased by a swingeing 27 per cent. to cover the increase in oil prices. With my experience of electric supply, it is fair to say that the basis of a nationalised electricity industry is that the supply of energy should take, as it were, the rough with the smooth. I should like to support the suggestion that this Bill be given a Third Reading forthwith.
§ On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.