HC Deb 20 December 1934 vol 296 cc1363-408

As amended, considered.


I do not propose to select the first new Clause standing in the name of the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams). Before allowing him to move the second one, I would like him to explain why it is not outside the scope of the Bill. It appears to me that it has nothing to do with Section 7 of the Electricity (Supply) Act.

4.14 p.m.


It is true, technically speaking, that this Bill is outside the scope of Section 7 of the Act of 1926, but it seems to me that the provisions of Clause 1 have reactions on the operation of Section 7. I think that to some extent the general financial provisions of Section 7 are materially affected by the provisions of Clause 2, and to some extent by Clause 4. I have not provided myself with a very careful examination of the precise relationship of Section 7 of the 1926 Act, but Section 7 does, in part, dominate subsequent Clauses, such as Clauses 11, 12 and 13. Section 7 cannot stand by itself. I believe that Section 7 will be modified in this Bill, and by the Preamble.


I do not know whether the Minister can further enlighten me on the point.

4.15 p.m.

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Hore-Belisha)

I am bound to say that I cannot see the relevance of the proposed new Clause. It is expressed as being a Bill to authorise the board to make certain arrangements and so forth, none of which purposes affects the terms on which it can buy from selected stations and the terms on which selected stations can buy from the board. In other words, none of the purposes of this Bill goes to the root of Section 7, which my hon. Friend desires to amend. On the other hand, the Section seems to go to the very roots of the Electricity Supply Act, 1926, upon which the whole grid system is based, whereas this Bill, of course, is much more narrow and confined in its scope and, indeed, specifically deals only with the matters mentioned in the Title to the Bill. I cannot see any possible relevance of this new Clause to the Bill, and it is a Clause of such importance that, if it were carried, it would involve a complete reconstitution of the whole grid system.

4.16 p.m.


Under Clause 1 the Central Electricity Board will be given power to make arrangements with certain non-selected stations. As a result of those arrangements they may be able to run non-selected stations at times when otherwise they would not be running, and they may arrange to buy supplies from non-selected stations for grid purposes. As a sequel to that, they may be in a position to do what they cannot do now to the same extent, namely, to order selected stations to shut down during certain periods and, therefore, to force selected stations to buy current which otherwise they would not compel them to buy. If Clause 1 does not pass, the problem with which I am seeking to deal does not arise. This is a new problem created by the operation of Clause 1. If the Clause does not become law, I think that my new Clause is of no importance. It is primarily because of Clause 1 that it is necessary to have my new Clause.


May I submit this point? One of the objects of the Bill is seriously to upset the grid tariff arrangements contained in the Act of 1926. The reaction of Clauses 1 and 2 is strictly relevant to the grid basis contained in the Act of 1926. Therefore I submit that it is important to consider an adjustment relevant to the change now made by the main Clauses of this Blil.


It appears to me that whatever connection it may have is so remote that I do not propose to select it.

  1. CLAUSE 1.—(Arrangements between Central Electricity Board and authorised undertakers.) 1,906 words
  2. cc1369-77
  3. CLAUSE 2.—(Amendment of s. 11 of Electricity (Supply) Act, 1926.) 3,119 words
  4. cc1377-408
  5. CLAUSE 4.—(Supply of electricity by Centrol Electricity Board to railway companies.) 12,087 words