§ Mr. Tony Lloyd
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the state of the high voltage switchgear industry.
§ Mr. Butcher
The high voltage switchgear industry is one which suffers from worldwide excess capacity. There are two United Kingdom manufacturers of switchgear of transmission voltages. In the absence of sufficient export orders an adequate home demand is necessary.
The home ordering programme is a matter for the electricity boards, but I understand that as a result of recent discussions the CEGB's future ordering intentions have been clarified and it is for the industry to plan ahead in the light of these.
We shall of course continue to give them full diplomatic and commercial support in their export efforts.