HC Deb 07 December 1931 vol 260 cc1521-2
71. Sir D. NEWTON

asked the hon. Member for Central Leeds, as representing the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, if he is aware of the high charges in connection with wayleaves made against electricity undertakings due to the complication and duplication of procedure by die solicitors representing the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, which in certain simple eases amount to as much as 10 guineas for an annual wayleave of 2s.; and whether he is prepared to inquire into the matter in the interests of consumers of electricity?

Mr. DENMAN (Second Church Estates Commissioner)

No, Sir, I am not aware of the cases referred to. If the hon. Member will give me particulars, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners will look into them. The hon. Member no doubt recognises that there is no necessary relation between the amount of a wayleave rent and the complexity of the transaction.


Is the hon. Member aware that the elaborate procedure in connection with wayleaves involves quite unnecessary expenditure and only serves to provide exorbitant fees for persons who have little or nothing to do, and is it not the case that that makes it impossible to get a cheap and abundant supply of electricity?


I am not aware of that fact. If any blame exists, the hon. Member must blame the complicated land system of this country rather than the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.


Is the hon. Member aware that in negotiating for a way- leave over a bishop's estate it is necessary to consult the chapter clerk, the bishop's solicitors, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners—


Viscount Borodale.