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Electric Traction Equipment (Export)

Volume 720: debated on Thursday 18 November 1965

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12.

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs to what extent the Electrical Engineering Economic Development Council has taken into consideration the importance of United Kingdom railway electrification as a basis, economic and technical, for the increased sale of British electric traction equipment to overseas buyers.

In examining exports of this equipment the Economic Development Council has invited the Government's attention to the relationship between exports and the size of the home market. We shall bear this in mind when considering future investment proposals from the British Railways Board.

While thanking my hon. Friend for that Answer, may I ask if he will bear in mind how important it is that we continue with main line railway electrification, not only because of its own merits but as a shop window for the export trade in electric traction vehicles?

I think my hon. Friend knows that this matter is still under consideration. In fact, the Minister of Transport is reappraising the costs and benefits of electrification of the line northwards, from Weaver Junction to Carlisle, and, in this consideration, matters to which my hon. Friend has drawn attention will certainly be taken into account.