HC Deb 24 November 1926 vol 200 cc403-5
62. Brigadier-General CHARTERIS

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that officers of the Army in Government quarters at Woolwich are being charged 6d. per unit for electricity for lighting, power and heat by the Government, which is itself purchasing the power at 2½d. per unit from the Woolwich Borough electric light department under a contract providing for the supply at 6d. per unit for the first 165,000 units and 1d. per unit thereafter during the year, with a minimum charge of 2½d. per unit for the whole supply for each year; that until recently officers paid only 2½d. per unit; that the new scale has been made retrospective to September, 1925 and what is the reason for the change?


Officers in Government quarters at, Woolwich, who obtain electricity on repayment, are now charged 6d. per unit for light, but only 2.9d. for power and for heating, if supplies for these purposes are metered separately. The rates are those paid by the general public. The cash allowances which are issued to officers to enable them to purchase light are not based on the special terms which the War Office, as a large consumer, receives from the supplying company and there are therefore no grounds for giving officers in barracks the benefit of those terms, which their brother officers living outside barracks do not get. The decision that preferential rates should no longer be given was promulgated at the end of July, 1925, with effect from 1st July, 1925.

Brigadier-General CHARTERIS

Is it not within the know edge of the Minister that individuals not in Government quarters get a rebate of 5 per cent. for light?

Captain KING

I am not aware of that fact.

Brigadier-General CHARTERIS

Can the hon. and gallant Member say whether the principle of the Government buying current at 2½d. per unit and retailing it at 6d. per unit is one which obtains throughout the whole service.

Captain KING

This is a contract with a special supply company; the terms vary in different parts of the country.


Is this not contrary to the general idea of the Electricity Bill which has just passed through this House that the more people we get to use electricity and absorb the load factor, the cheaper the rate?