HC Deb 30 July 1930 vol 242 cc484-7
41. Mr. DAY

asked the Minister of Transport whether there is any immediate prospect of the introduction of uniformity of prices of electricity in the London area; can he say when this matter was last considered by the London and Home Counties Joint Electricity Authority; and can he give particulars?

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I am afraid that the answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. I understand that an investigation of the position in the London area has been made by the Joint Authority, but that before coming to conclusions, the authority has been awaiting the issue of the report of the Committee appointed by the Electricity Commissioners to consider the general question of uniformity of electricity charges and tariffs. The report has just been put on sale by the Stationery Office and the Joint Authority will no doubt proceed to complete their investigations.


Can my hon. Friend say whether there is any hope of reaching finality on this subject?


No, I am afraid 1 cannot, because it is bound up with the history of London electricity, and existing legislative considerations.


Was not the Act of 1926, which was brought in for the purpose of standardisation, adopted with the object of having a uniform price for London?


I do not think it is reasonable to put the bulk of the blame on the Act of 1926. The difficulties go back much further than that.


Is it not a fact that the Bill became necessary because of complaints made in London?


I am very anxious to oblige my hon. Friend about the Act of 1926, but I really cannot put all the sins of the electrical world on that Act.


Is the Minister of Transport aware that I am not referring to the sins of 1926, but I am pointing out that the 1926 Act was proposed in order that there might be no sins?


Is it not a fact that in London the various authorities are opposed to this innovation?


Quite so. It is perfectly true to say that the organisation of the electricity supply in London is relatively chaotic, and it can only be put right by fundamental legislation.

44. Mr. MILLS

asked the Minister of Transport whether any application has been made by any local authority for powers to supply electricity to the areas of Crayford, Barnehurst, and Swanscombe?


No such application has been made to the Electricity Commissioners in respect of Cray-ford and Barnehurst. These places are in the area of the West Kent Electric Company, Limited, and are being supplied by that company. With regard to Swanscombe, which is in the authorised area of the Kent Power Company, this was included in an application made to the Commissioners by the Corporation of Gravesend in May, 1925. I understand that at a local inquiry into the application, the Power Company gave evidence that they had already carried out extensive works and laid distributing mains in Swanscombe and that the Commissioners eventually refused the application of the Corporation.


Will the Minister of Transport take into consideration the grave dissatisfaction of all the users of electricity who are at the mercy of this retail company, which does not manufacture electricity at all, but merely retails it from the London Power Supply Company?


asked the Minister of Transport whether he can give comparative figures showing the development which has taken place in the undertaking of the Chiswick Electricity Supply Company during the last five years, and the development in similar undertakings under municipal control, together with the prices charged in each case.


As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT,

Following is the answer:

It is not possible to find an undertaking which is exactly similar in all points to that of the Chiswick Company, but I have caused a comparison to be made with the area under the control of the Beckenham Urban District Council, which affords a reasonably close comparison; the results are as follow:

Comparative figures for Undertakings supplying two residential areas bordering on the Administrative County of London.
Chiswick Undertaking. Beckenham Undertaking.
Approximate population of area 41,000 33,000
Units sold.
1921–22 1,632,000 1,511,000
1928–29 3,165,000 5,181,000
Increase in 7 years 1,533,000 3,670,000
Per cent. increase on 1921–22 94%(or about 13% per annum.) 242%(or about 34% per annum.)
Average revenue. Per unit sold.
1921–22 5.14d. 5.73d.
1928–29 4.57d. 2.63d.
Decrease in 7 years 0.57d. 3.10d.
Lighting and domestic supplies only; Units sold and average revenue.
1921–22 785,000 (7.69d.) 703,000 (9.14d.)
1928–29 1,987,000 (6.01d.) 3,977,000 (3.01d.)
Increase (or decrease) in 7 years +1,202,000 (-1.68d.) +3,274,000(-6.13d.)
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