asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will make a statement as to the directions he will give under Section 5 of the Electricity Act, 1947, to the British Electricity Authority to encourage to the utmost the employment of electricity for those industrial purposes for which it is most suitable; and in this connection to reconsider the recently-proposed increased charge for industrial electricity.
No, Sir, I do not think such a direction is necessary. The fixing of tariffs in an area is the responsibility of the area electricity board.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the new tariffs will mean an increase of 25–50 per cent. in power costs for cotton mills, thereby increasing substantially the costs of production of cotton goods at a time when the cotton trade is being exhorted to do its best to increase its export trade?
Yes, I appreciate the difficulties, but my hon. and gallant Friend will realise that it is difficult to discriminate between industries.