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Electricity Supplies (Load Shedding)

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that the continued cuts in the supply of power in the mornings, lasting as long as two hours, are creating a standstill in industry at 8 a.m. and are seriously hindering production and export; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that industry has a regular supply of power.

I am aware that recent load-shedding has caused some loss of industrial production. The load-shedding was due to the unusually cold weather which occurred at a time when a fairly large proportion of the electrical generating plant was still being overhauled in preparation for the winter. Load-shedding must be expected from time to time until sufficient capacity is available and, as it is impossible to segregate industrial supplies entirely, some interruption of industry is inevitable.From information that I receive regularly from the British Electricity Authority it is clear that the rate of commissioning of new generating plant is increasing as the months go by and is keeping pace with the capacity of the manufacturers and civil engineers to instal and erect new stations. All possible steps are being taken to ensure that this rate of increase is not only maintained but improved.