HC Deb 26 June 1918 vol 107 cc1019-20

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


I understand that the Instruction which is to be moved later on by the Chairman of Committees governs the whole of the Clauses in connection with the sliding scale and that portion of the financial provisions of the Bill, and with that Instruction, while awaiting the decision of the Government on the Report of the Gas Committee, I am in entire agreement, and so are my Friends who have hitherto been opposing this Bill. I understand also that the South Suburban Gas Company, the promoters, are prepared to withdraw certain other Clauses in connection with the Bill if it is to pass the Second Reading. They propose to withdraw Clause 38, dealing with the calorific values, and to leave Clause 36—the one with regard to gas supplied to vehicles propelled by gas—for the decision of the Committee on its consideration. So far as I can understand, what is preserved in the Bill—which is a very vital part from the promoters' point of view—is the power of purchasing the Dartford Gas Company for the purpose of completing the whole of the area as one unit which they occupy in one part of Kent. If that is clearly understood, with regard to what is left I am prepared to withdraw my opposition to the Second Reading.


I think the hon. Member has correctly read the situation in which the Bill will proceed to Second Reading.


May I say that I quite agree with what the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Rowlands) has said, namely, that the Clauses to which he refers—Clauses 38 and 36—shall be excised, and all the other parts of the Bill shall, so far as he and those he represents are concerned, be dealt with by the Committee upstairs.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed.

Ordered, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee to which the Bill may be committed to strike out the provisions whereby it is proposed to increase any statutory maximum price or to modify existing statutory provisions as to the relation of price to dividend."—[The Chairman of Ways and Means.]