HC Deb 16 December 1936 vol 318 cc2453-5
37. Colonel BALDWIN-WEBB

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to the high charges for electrical energy for power purposes demanded by the West Midlands Joint Electricity Authority, the majority of the members of which are representatives of the local authorities, and of which the largest representation is that of the Wolverhampton Corporation; is he aware that that corporation are quoting rates for electrical energy substantially below those quoted by the West Midlands authority, and that, as a consequence, industrialists are being attracted to Wolverhampton from the distressed areas in Shropshire; and what steps he proposes to take to deal with the situation?

Captain HUDSON

My right hon. Friend is aware that the power charges of the West Midlands Joint Electricity Authority are somewhat higher than those of the neighbouring undertaking of the corporation of Wolverhampton. Lest my hon. and gallant Friend should draw any wrong inference from that fact, I should explain that the Joint Authority's undertaking has only been established for a few years and covers a large area which is mainly rural, whereas Wolverhampton have a large and long established undertaking operating in a densely populated area, The authority's order provides that the terms for high tension power supplies shall, failing agreement, be fixed by arbitration and the matter is one in which my right hon. Friend has no power to intervene. He is, however, informed that the Joint Authority hope to be able to reduce their charges in the near future.


Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the proposal will increase the consumption of electricity for power purposes from these sources by no less than 25 per cent?


Is not the real reason why industries are being attracted to Wolverhampton the many facilities which are offered there for industry?


Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the granting of advantageous terms by the Central Electricity Authority to large cities and towns will have the effect of reducing the number of new industries in certain districts to the great disadvantage of people dwelling there as regards employment, and will he take steps to bring this matter to the notice of the Minister?

Forward to