HC Deb 06 November 1950 vol 480 cc12-3W
33. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what were the total coal exports for 1948 and 1949 and what was the rate per annum for the first nine months of 1950; and what are the corresponding figures for coal exports from the port of Immingham.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

The following is the information:

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Like the hon. Members and the electricity boards, I greatly regret the inconvenience, loss and danger which power cuts may cause. The boards endeavour, with the help of the B.B.C. and the Press, to let consumers know beforehand when they think it possible that cuts will be required. When it is definitely known that a cut must be made, there is not time to give individual warnings to all consumers; but as many large consumers as possible are warned before the cut takes place. In most areas, there is a rota system, by which a consumer knows on which day of the week his supply is likely to be cut.

I have made inquiries about the suggestion made by the right hon. and gallant Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse), and I regret that it is technically impossible to give a warning by reducing the voltage, or by causing lights to flicker, before a cut is made.

Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power, in view of the big load shedding of electricity which occurred throughout the country very recently, what action he is proposing to deal with this load shedding as the weather gets colder in view of the fact that the sudden cuts or reductions cause dislocation of essential services and of trade.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to a similar question by the hon. Member for Eye (Mr. Granville) on 25th October.