HC Deb 08 May 1928 vol 217 cc166-7

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been called to the issue of bonus shares, equal to 100 per cent. of the ordinary share capital, by the Bournemouth and Poole Electric Light and Power Company; what was the price of electricity per unit charged by this company during each of the four quarters of 1927; and whether he is satisfied that the price so charged was reasonable having regard to the high profits secured?

Colonel ASHLEY

I have seen reports in the Press to the effect stated in the first part of this question. As regards the second part, I understand that the prices charged by the company in question during 1927 were 7d. to 3d. per unit for lighting, 3d. to 1¾d. for power, and 2d. to 1¾d. for heating and cooking. As regards the third part, I am not in a position to express any opinion on the reasonableness of the prices charged. If the local authority or consumers consider that the existing maximum prices are unreasonable it is open to them to apply to me, in accordance with the prescribed procedure, to revise those prices.


Does not the Minister of Transport regard it as his duty to prevent what is obviously a ramp against the consumer both from the point of view—


I should like to see that question on the Paper.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

Is not this bonus distribution an accumulation of profits that have been made during past years; and is it not also a fact that the company has only three or four years more of tenure before it becomes purchasable—




In view of the very high prices charged and the high profits shown, is not the Minister of Transport prepared to hold a local inquiry?

Colonel ASHLEY

As I said in the last part of my answer, if the local authority or the consumers consider the existing maximum prices unreasonable, they can apply to me and ask me to revise those prices, and when they do so I shall make it my duty to go into the whole question.


I beg to give notice that I shall raise this question to-morrow evening on the Adjournment.

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