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I have great pleasure in supporting the latest element of the Government's denationalisation programme. It will be the most successful element of that programme because there will be more competition than with telecommunications and gas.
I refute the Opposition's absurd allegations that Conservative Members are ideological and dogmatic. In 1947, when electricity was centralised and nationalised under the then Labour Government, the industry was not technically inefficient. There had been no labour disputes between 1926 and 1947. Over a 20-year period, output increased by a factor of 10. The industry had modern, not dilapidated plant and there was within it no high unemployment. There was no case for the electricity industry being taken from private companies and local authorities other than that of spiteful Socialist dogma. That was why the industry was put into the nationalised sector in 1947.