§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether the Electric Lighting Act of 1882 precludes the Board of Trade or Local Authorities from granting licences to one or more persons, firms, or Companies to light the same area; whether the Act contains restrictions as to the breaking up of any street without the written consent of the Board of Trade; whether inquiries are made by the Board of Trade as to the ability of undertakers to carry out the work before licences are granted; whether he can state what number of licences have been granted since the last Return was issued; and, whether it is a fact that the reason assigned by Companies which obtained licences under the Act of 1882 for abandoning these was the enormous law costs which would have been incurred owing to the opposition of the Local Boards or Councils?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
The Electric Lighting Act, 1882, does not preclude the granting of licences to one or more persons, firms, or Companies to light the same area. With reference to the second Question, the Board of Trade cannot give power to break up streets except under a licence or Provisional Order. As regards the third Question, inquiries such as those suggested by the hon. Member are made by the Board of Trade. Two licences have been granted since the last Report to Parliament. In reply to the last part of the Question, I have to say that no such reason as that referred to by the hon. Member has, to my knowledge, been assigned for the abandonment of licences.