HC Deb 03 March 1953 vol 512 c27W
74. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date the estimated cost of £15,103,000 for the Breadalbane project, Construction Scheme No. 25, as related in Command Paper No. 8740 and Statutory Instrument, 1953, No. 138 (S. 15), North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board (Constructional Scheme No. 25) Confirmation Order, was computed; what steps have been taken to adjust the estimated cost to the level of prices obtaining for materials and labour at the date Statutory Instrument No. 138 was published on 30th January, 1953; and, in view of the five to seven year constructional period, what estimate has been formed of the increase in aggregate cost that will take place before completion date, including such considerations as the recent increase of approximately 5s. 6d. per ton in coal, with consequential increases in steel, cement and freight costs.

Mr. J. Stuart

I am informed that the estimate was made shortly before the publication of the Scheme in March, 1951, and contained a 10 per cent. margin for contingencies. The present estimate is about 20 per cent. higher. Changes in prices over the next five to seven years cannot be foreseen, but steps are continually being taken to offset increasing prices by improvements and economies in the methods of construction.