§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon)
I beg to move,That the Order made by the Electricity Commissioners under the Electricity (Supply) Acts, 1882 to 1922, and confirmed by the Minister of Transport under The Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, constituting the London and Home Counties Electricity District, and establishing and incorporating the London and Home Counties Joint Electricity Authority, which was presented on the 21st day of May, 1905, be approved, subject to the following modifications, viz.: —Clause 39, sub-section (2), paragraph (5), after the first ' District,' insert ' represented on the Joint Authority.'I do not think I should be treating the House with respect if I were to ask for the approval of this Order without a word of explanation, because it is a piece of legislation of some magnitude. At this late hour I do not intend to describe in detail what is happening in the setting up of this Authority in London, but I wish to devote a few minutes to trying to facilitate the consideration of the Amendments on the Order Paper. I thank hon. Members opposite and everybody else for co-operating to get this Order agreed upon, because it is an Order of very great magnitude, and involved securing agreement with 157 local authorities in London. As one knows the pride in its individuality of the average local authority, that is no small feat. There is one Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee) to change 205 the date of the election of the authority, which I think is good. I shall accept that when he moves it, and also the Amendment by my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Mr. D. Herbert), to exclude that particular district. In regard to another Amendment by the hon. Member for Limehouse, the point raised there has worried the local authorities in London a good deal. The relation of the power Companies to the Authority to be set up and to the municipalities is a somewhat complicated one.
Under the 1919–22 Act a municipality situated in the Power Company area was not allowed to take current from the Authority, but it was arranged that the Power Company should give way on this point, and that these should be competing powers. Those provisions were put in Clauses 14 and 17, but the municipalities felt that the Power Companies would be in a position to undercut the Authorities, and that was felt to be unfair. In negociating this matter I got an undertaking from the Electricity Commissioners in the following terms:I understand that the difficulty with the Local Authorities concerned arises from their fear that the terms and conditions of the supply offered by the Joint Authority, and the estimate of cost are to be communicated to the Power Company concerned, and that the disclosure of these particulars will enable the Power Company to undercut the tenders of the Joint Authority to the Local Authority concerned in an unfair manner to the Joint Authority.The Power Companies are to be entitled to be heard by the Commissioners before the latter give consent to the supply given by the Joint Authority. I assured Major Attlee that the Commissioners would not be parties to any procedure which would allow such a result, and that they would require the offers of the Joint Authority and of the Power Company concerned to the Local Authority to be made simultaneously, and that it would be upon the basis of those offers that the Commissioners' decision would be made.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
With regard to the Amendments on the Order Paper, I am not quite clear as to the order in which they should be taken. I notice that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Watford (Mr. D. Herbert) deals with Article 7. What is the difference between them? Are they Articles or Clauses?
Lieut.-Colonel MOORE BRABAZON
They are Articles to start with. I suggest that we take first the Amendment 206 of the hon. Member for Watford, then my Amendment, and, thirdly, the Amendment of the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee).
§ Mr. DENNIS HERBERT
The Articles constitute the main body of the Order, and the Clauses are in the Schedule.
§ Mr. D. HERBERT
I beg to move, in line 7, at the end, to insert the wordsIn Article 7 the deletion of lines 16 to 20, inclusive;In paragraph 1 of the Schedule the deletion of lines 32 and 33, page 20, and the substitution of the words 'the municipal borough of Hertford';The deletion of the word 'Bushey' in line 34, page 20;The deletion of lines 37 to 43, inclusive (page 20), and the substitution of the words'The rural districts of Barnet, Hatfield, Hertford, St. Albans, Ware, and Welwyn; the detached part (lying between the rural districts of Ware and Epping) of the parish of High Wych, in the rural district of Hadham;The parish of Flauden, in the rural district of Hemel Hempstead;So much of the urban district of Rickmans-worth and the rural district of Watford as are not included in the authorised area of supply of the corporation of Watford as constituted at the date of this order.In paragraph (3) (a) of Part I of the Second Annex, the deletion of the words 'Watford … Watford Corporation.'As my hon. and gallant Friend has been good enough to accept this Amendment, I need not trouble the House with more than the very shortest explanation of it. The object of this rather lengthy and complicated-looking Amendment is that the area of supply of the Watford Electricity Undertaking should be excluded from the London and Home Counties' area. If any Member of the House is curious to know the reason for it, in order to justify the acceptance of this Amendment by my hon. and gallant Friend, I can explain it I think in a very few words indeed. When the area was first of all mapped out it included the whole area, which embraces the Watford area. But south of the Watford 207 area there came the area of the two great Power Companies, and it was found, in fact, that these Power Companies' areas would have to be practically excluded because of powers which would have to be delegated to them. The position, the House can see by ocular demonstration by looking at this plan. This black shaded portion is the London and Home Counties' area. The green is the Power Companies', and the brilliant red spot is the electricity area of Watford. It was felt that under all the circumstances there was no particular reason why that brilliant red spot should be swallowed up by the black mass below. I hope the House will approve of the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I beg to move, in line 9, at the end, to add the wordsIn paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part II of the First Annex, the deletion of the word 'April' wherever it occurs, and the substitution of the word 'December '.I think the meaning is quite clear. It is merely that this Order comes (into force at a time when the Metropolitan Borough Councils are shortly to come out of office and seek re-election and unless this Amendment were inserted it would be perpetually the case so long as this Order was enforced, and the representatives on the Joint Authority would always be elected by councils whose term had almost expired. I should like, in moving this Amendment, to thank the Minister for the way in which he has met us on this question.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
In view of the statement of the Minister, I do not propose to move any of the other Amendments standing in my name.
§ Mr. SCURR
I beg to move, after the words last inserted, to add the wordsIn paragraph 27 of the Schedule the deletion of the words ' other than the London Companies (or such body or bodies as may be authorised hereafter to act for the London Companies), the North Metropolitan 208 Electric Power Supply Company, the Kent Electric Power Company, and the West Kent Electric Company, Limited.'This affects Clause 27, which is concerned with the right of way to inspection. Under this Clause it says that for the purpose of enabling the Joint Authority to carry out its duties, the Joint Authority and its officers and servants may at all reasonable times and on reasonable notice enter upon and inspect generating stations. If this right of inspection is to be given for municipal undertakings, there ought to be the same right in regard to private companies
§ Lieut.-Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON
I thank the hon. Gentleman for the brevity of his speech, but I think I am justified in answering it. A certain differentiation was intended between what should happen in the case of the municipal undertaking and what should happen in the case of the company, and it was on that basis that the company were not given the representation on the Authority to which otherwise they would be entitled. It is true that the Authority cannot inspect the premises and works of the companies when they like, but there is included a provision that, in order that they may see that the assets which it is anticipated will eventually come to them are there, they may inspect he companies' works once a year. I hope the hon. Gentleman will not think that there is going to be any prolonged spirit of antagonism between the companies and the Authority.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. SCURR
I beg to move, after the words last added, to add the wordsProvided that the provisions of this Section shall not apply to the London Companies (or such body or bodies as may be authorised hereafter to act for the London Companies, or any one or more of the London Companies), the North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Company, the Kent Electric Power Company, and the West Kent Electric Company, Limited.This Amendment raises rather a different point. In regard to the power to require statistics and returns the companies are once more excluded. I do not see why 209 the companies should not be required to supply the same information, which will be equally necessary in their case.
§ Lieut.-Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON
When I saw the hon. Member's Amendment, I was rather inclined to accept it, but I find that the companies actually have to render to the Commissioners all that the Authority could possibly ask for, so that all the Authority need to do is to apply to the Commissioners, who will forward to them the statistics and figures which must be rendered to them by the companies.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. SCURR
I beg to move, after the words last added, to add the wordsProvided always that a person in the service of authorised undertakers in the district (including those employed by the joint authority), shall not be excluded from serving as a representative of the workers in the industry appointed under the terms of Section 2, Sub-section 10, of Part I of the First Annex.12.0 M.
This Amendment deals with the representation of workmen on the Authority, and, as the Order is drawn, it would exclude workmen in the employ of any one of the undertakings. I stand for the principle of control by the workers in industry, and I very much hope we are going to have the assistance of the actual manual workers in contact with administration, both from the point of view of what they are able to contribute thereto and from the point of view of the benefit they will receive from sharing in the responsibility for administration. From these points of view it is necessary that those actually employed in the industry should be entitled to sit as representatives. That has been recognised by the Commissioners in giving the workers two representatives, but, as the Order is drawn, anyone employed in a manual capacity on the undertaking would not be entitled to sit as a member of the Authority.
§ Mr. NAYLOR
I beg to second the Amendment.
In doing so I would appeal to the hon. and gallant Gentleman to make this little concession. He may be under the 210 impression that no disability will be placed upon the two workers' representatives, but the Order distinctly lays it clown that no one having a personal interest in any contract given out by the Authority shall be a member of the Authority. It would be quite easy to argue in a Court of Law that a workman employed by one of the undertakings on a contract might be considered to have a personal interest in that contract, and the Judge would presumably rule that such a workman could not be placed upon the Authority. I hope that, for the sake of securing the representation of workmen that has been conceded by the Order, the Minister will allow this Amendment to go through.
§ Lieut.-Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON
I am afraid I cannot accept this Amendment. The Order lays down three things which disqualify anyone from being a member of the Authority. The first is that he must not be a foreigner, the second is that he must not hold any paid office under the Joint Authority save as permitted by the scheme, and the third is what the Seconder of the Amendment put forward. I do not think there would ever be a case at law over such an obscure point as that of a workman working for a contractor, but I would rather not accept such a proposal at present. Later on, however, a change could no doubt be made if it acted harshly against any particular workman. The Order lays it down that anyone who holds any paid office under the Authority shall not be eligible to serve on the Authority, and I think it is only right that, if it applies to engineers and other officers of the Authority, it should also apply to workmen employed by the Authority. Otherwise you would get the strange position of someone in a subordinate position one day, being a principal the next. There is no reason, however, why any employé of a constituent body of the Authority should not be elected upon the Joint Authority. The only thing is that he must not be actually employed by his Authority. This gives at present a large scope of choice of representatives of workmen to be on the Authority. Later on, perhaps, there may be some change necessary, but at present I cannot accept this Amendment.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
That the Order made by the Electricity Commissioners under the Electricity (Supply) Acts, 1882 to 1922, and confirmed by the Minister of Transport under The Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, constituting the London and Home Counties Electricity District, and establishing and incorporating the London and Home Counties Joint Electricity Authority, which was presented on the 21st day of May, 1925, be approved, subject to the following modifications, namely:—
In Article 7 the deletion of lines 16 to 20, inclusive;
In paragraph 1 of the Schedule the deletion of lines 32 and 33, page 20, and the
§ The House divided: Ayes, 12; Noes, 134.211
|Division No. 322.]||AYES.||[12.6 a.m.|
|Barr, J.||Gillett, George M||Kelly, W. T.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hayes, John Henry||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Jonkins, W. (Giamorgan, Neath)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||John. William (Rhondda, West)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Mr. Scurr and Mr. Naylor.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Goff, Sir Park||Oakley, T.|
|Albery, Irving James||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Hammersley, S. S.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Hanbury, C.||Radford, E. A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rawson, Alfred Cooper|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Harland, A.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Harrison, G. J. C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Blundell. F. N.||Hawke, John Anthony||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxford, Henley)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C.)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hilton, Cecil||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Howard. Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Cope, Major William||Hume, Sir G. H.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Couper, J. B.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Jacob, A. E.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Kidd, J. (Linilthgow)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert||Lamb, J. Q.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Luce, Major Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Drewe, C||Lumley, L. R.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Elveden, Viscount||McDonnell. Colonel Hon. Angus||Watts, Dr. T.|
|England, Colonel A.||McLean, Major A.||Wells, S. R.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macmillan, Captain H.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Margesson, Captain D.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Fleming, D. P.||Merriman, F. B.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ford, P. J.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Forrest, W.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Nail, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Nelson, Sir Frank||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Neville, R. J.||Sir Harry Barnston and Major Hennessy.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
§ substitution of the words 'the municipal borough of Hertford ';
§ The deletion of the word 'Bushey' inline 34, page 20, and of the word' Rickmansworth ' in line 36 (page 20);
§ The deletion of lines 37 to 43, inclusive (page 20), and the substitution of the words 'The rural districts of Barnet, Hat-field, Hertford, St. Albans, Ware, and Welwyn; the detached part (lying between the rural districts of Ware and Epping) of the parish of High Wych, in the rural district of Hadham;
§ The parish of Flaunden, in the rural district of Hemel Hempstead;
§ So much of the urban district of Rickmansworth and the rural district of Watford as are not included in the autho- 213 rised area of supply of the corporation of Watford as constituted at the date of this Order.
§ In paragraph (3) (a) of Part I of the Second Annex the deletion of the words 'Watford…Watford Corporation.'
§ Clause 39, Sub-section (2), paragraph (b), after the first 'District,' insert ' represented on the Joint Authority.'
§ In paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part II of the First Annex, the deletion of the word 'April' wherever it occurs, and the substitution of the word 'December.' "