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Orders of the Day — Electricity Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:52 pm on 13th December 1988.

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Photo of Mr Stan Orme Mr Stan Orme , Salford East 5:52 pm, 13th December 1988

Yes, that is correct.

The British public need to recognise that this Government, or any Government, will give them proper protection. The industry must be answerable to Ministers and, through them, to Parliament. In that way we can discuss it.

Given that the Bill proposes a separate unit responsible for nuclear power and that it is to be dealt with in a special way, will the Minister give an undertaking that public accountability, through the parliamentary process, will remain? If it does not, our people will realise that they cannot support the Bill.

The Bill contains a nuclear dilemma, which is unique in comparison to any other development. When the Bill is in Committee, we must explore in detail not just the costs, but the overall management policy for the industry.

It is absolutely criminal that a well-run economic industry, which has produced what the nation needs, should now be broken up purely in the cause of profit. It has nothing to do with competition or improvements in the industry. When we have had an opportunity to debate this matter further, and when the argument is taken out to the public I believe that they will begin to see through the Bill and will discover that it is not in their interests.