HC Deb 29 November 1938 vol 342 cc248-9
60. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Minister of Transport what are the highest and lowest rates charged for electricity in England by local authorities and by other statutory undertakers, respectively, during the last financial year; and what are the corresponding figures for Scotland?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Captain Austin Hudson)

Two-part domestic tariffs, which offer the most favourable terms to consumers, provide for fixed charges on different bases so that direct comparison cannot be made. So far as my information goes the highest flat rate per unit charged for domestic lighting was 9d. by one local authority and 10d. by four other statutory undertakers in England and Wales, and 10d. by one local authority and by two other statutory undertakers in Scotland.

Mr. Gibson

Can the Minister give the names of those authorities to which he has referred—both the statutory undertakers and the local authorities?

Captain Hudson

If the hon. and learned Member will put a question down, I think I can give him that information.

61. Sir Smedley Crooke

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the McGowan Committee in its inquiry practically ignored the case of the non-statutory suppliers of electricity, and that its recommendations, if adopted, would be in most cases destructive of any benefit from the enterprise, risk, and hard work of these suppliers; whether he will give the numbers of non-statutory suppliers and authorised suppliers, respectively; and whether, in any future legislation dealing with the recommendations of the McGowan Committee, he will ensure fair treatment for the non-statutory suppliers in question?

Captain Hudson

The Electricity Commissioners have no complete information as to the number of non-statutory suppliers who, as my hon. Friend is aware, include numbers of persons owning small private plants. The number of authorised undertakers in Great Britain on 31st March, 1938, was 591. I can assure him that in any legislation which may be promoted to deal with the supply of electricity the position and just claims of non-statutory suppliers will be borne in mind.

Colonel Burton

Can the Minister say when the Electricity Bill will be introduced?

Captain Hudson

I cannot amplify the statement made by the Prime Minister.