Oral Answers to Questions — Solway Firth

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd January 1974.

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Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

I have at present no plans to do so, Sir.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

Since the Solway is the site of the Chapelcross, Britain's second nuclear power station, and a potential site for many of our new nuclear power stations, will the Prime Minister tell us about the Government's policy on the import of the American light water reactor? Has not Lord Aldington let the cat out of the bag in saying that we would have to import pressure vessels, a coolant system, and many other components of American reactors from the United States? Is this sensible, given the balance of payments problem?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

The hon. Gentleman obviously raises a very important point. It is not possible for me to make a statement on policy at this moment. The Nuclear Power Advisory Board is studying all the possibilities, as the hon. Gentleman, who is well informed about these matters, knows, and various recommendations have been made to the board by those interested in the development of nuclear power. I assure the hon. Gentleman and the House that no decisions of any kind have yet been reached upon this matter, but these decisions are now urgently required.

Photo of Mr Peter Fry Mr Peter Fry , Wellingborough

Instead of visiting Solway, will my right hon. Friend consider visiting Wellingborough and explaining to my constituents that if the three-day week is to be continued there will be equity in the payment of unemployment benefit, so that those who are out of work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will not be at the disadvantage that they suffer at the moment compared with those who work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

My hon. Friend will know that the length of the working week is under urgent consideration. I shall have something more to say about this matter later this afternoon.