HC Deb 31 July 1923 vol 167 cc1265-6

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether there are any cases in which electricity extension is delayed owing to inactivity of local authorities; and whether, in view of the need for providing employment this winter, he will instruct the Commissioners to suggest to such local authorities either that they show greater activity in meeting public requirements, or allow other authorities, ready to take over the work, to expand their activities?

Colonel ASHLEY

The Commissioners are not aware of electricity extensions which are being delayed owing to inactivity of local authority undertakers. On the contrary, there has, for some time past, been much activity on the part of such authorities, as is shown by the fact that the Commissioners during the past three years have sanctioned the borrowing of no less than £36,000,000 by such authorities for electricity purposes. If my hon. Friend will give any specific instances of extensions delayed through alleged inactivity, these will be inquired into.


Has the hon. and gallant Gentleman any power in the matter when a considerable amount of work is being held up by the Electricity Commissioners themselves not coming to a decision?

Colonel ASHLEY

I do not think that is so.

Lieut.-Colonel NALL

Why, and how far, are the Commissioners themselves actually preventing the development of electrical enterprises, especially by private companies?