asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the serious dislocation in production and the loss of wages caused by electricity power cuts; and, in view of the opposition of both sides of industry to working staggered hours, if he will consult with industries in order to arrange work on Saturday mornings to reduce the abnormal load during peak hours.
Yes. I regret that load shedding has been necessary on a number of occasions in the last two months. The National Joint Advisory Council considered the matter at its meeting on 25th October, and as a result the Electricity Sub-Committee of the Council met yesterday to examine the position. This meeting was attended by representatives of the British Electricity Authority, the British Employers' Confederation, the Trades Union Congress, Regional Boards and the Government Departments concerned. A further meeting is being held early next week for a detailed examination of the problem. In the meantime, Regional Boards are being asked for suggestions and the proposal of the hon. Member will be brought to the notice of the Sub-Committee.The problem is one of peak load between the hours 8 a.m. and 12 noon and particularly between 8–9.30 in the morning and 4–5.30 in the afternoon during the weekdays Monday to Friday. If all concerned, and especially domestic consumers, would take steps to reduce the use of electric appliances to the minimum during these hours the cuts in industrial production would be largely avoided.