§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade will he explain why the Board of Trade insist on all transfers of electric lighting orders to companies being in a standard form, and refuse to allow variations required by local conditions, also on what grounds they refuse to allow the insertion of agreed provisions for the reduction of the maximum price either for public or private lighting; and whether he will consider the desirability of relaxing these departmental rules.
§ MR. HANBURY (for Mr. RITCHIE)
The Board of Trade do not consider that deeds of transfer under electric lighting orders should contain any provisions other than those which are consequential on the substitution of a company for a local authority as undertakers. To go beyond this is to provide, under the colour of a mere deed of transfer, for matters which really require the approval of Parliament. Transferees are accordingly placed in exactly the same position with regard to price as they would have been had they obtained the order originally. The price for public supply is left to agreement, or, failing agreement, to arbitration. The price for private supply is not specifically fixed, but is left, as in the order, subject to a maximum, which may be revised periodically by the Board of Trade on the representation of the local authority. I see no reason for altering the existing practice of the Department.