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Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will consider the removal of the Government restrictions which have prevented the laying of an electric cable in Hill Street, Bristol, to enable the inhabitants of that street to have electric light installed in their homes.

No, Sir. As was explained to my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) on 24th February, it is not at present possible to supply electricity to all who want it and priority must be given to industry, farms and new houses with no other installed means of lighting.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that people in this street, which contains 60 houses, made application for a cable in 1938; that they have been waiting for ten years; and that they have also sent a petition to the local authority? Can my hon. Friend do something to expedite the laying of the cable?

I am aware of those facts. I assure the hon. Gentleman that supply will be given as soon as practicable.

Why does the Ministry persist in giving priority to new houses over houses where the inhabitants applied for a cable many years ago and are still waiting?

It is rather important when one builds new houses that at least there should be some lighting in them.

Why is it more important for new houses than for old houses? Why should people in the old house have to use an oil lamp while the new house is provided with electric lighting?