§ Mr. Sylvester
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will make a statement concerning the restrictions on street and shop-window lighting.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
Yes. I am satisfied that the improvement in the coal situation now justifies the removal of the restrictions on the use of electricity for shop window, advertisement and display lighting outside peak hours. It has been agreed with the British Electricity Authority that the extra coal to be used in consequence by the power stations shall be of inferior quality and mainly take the form of "untreated smalls." This type of coal, which is the one most commonly used at present in generating electricity, has been available for domestic consumers "off the ration" for some time; and I am assured by the National Coal Board that the additional supplies required can now be provided without endangering the export programme. Since shop window, advertisement and display lighting is most unlikely to increase the risk of load shedding during the summer months, there will be no restrictions at all on the use of electricity for these purposes from 2nd April to 2nd October. From then on, however, and throughout next winter, in view of the continued danger of load shedding, it will be prohibited on week days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
I have also decided, after consulting my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, that street lighting should no longer be limited to 75 per cent. of the pre-war standard. There may however 228W be some cases where the public lighting authorities are not able to increase the standard of street lighting at once, partly because the equipment may need repair and replacement and partly because where streets are lit by gas, local conditions may make it difficult for the gas undertakings to meet the additional load.