HC Deb 07 March 1944 vol 397 cc1852-3
8. Brigadier-General Clifton Brown

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of the fact that electricity undertakers have a monopoly of erecting lines in their own districts, he will lay down an average standard price to be paid by owners who erect lines on their estates in rural areas to supply their farms and cottages since in many cases electrical installation in country districts is being held up owing to the varied and excessive charges of local undertakers.

Major Lloyd George

I am afraid it is not possible to adopt the suggestion of my hon. and gallant Friend, because the cost of extending supplies of electricity to consumers in rural areas varies considerably according to the amount of electricity required, the nature of the ground and so on. In any case, the Electricity Supply Acts give me no authority to lay down an average standard price. This matter is an important part of the development of electricity supply in rural areas, which, as I informed the hon. Member for Devizes, on the 18th January, is receiving the active consideration of the Government.

Brigadier-General Brown

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman treat this matter as one of great urgency? Some of these cottages are now without light and without coal, and if we want to encourage agriculture in the country, those things must be provided.