HC Deb 27 March 1945 vol 409 cc1285-6
1. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in connection with the installation of electricity in farms and buildings in the rural areas, he will consider convening a meeting of the electricity undertaKinģs throughout the United Kinģdom with a view to abolishing the high charges for installation and the long term guarantees which are at present demanded by.many undertaKinģs.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Mr. Tom Smith)

Electricity undertakers are under no statutory obligation to afford supplies to individual premises situated more than 5o yards from a distributing line. This point is one of the matters which is being taken into account in the general reorganisation of the industry now under consideration by His Majesty's Government.

Mr. De la Bère

Does my hon. Friend realise the very strong feeling that exists in rural areas because farms are not able to get a supply of electricity on account of the very heavy charge for installation? Will he make a very vigorous request that these undertaKinģs should do something in the matter, in view of this widespread feeling?

Mr. Smith

I can assure my hon. Friend that we are aware of the feeling, and that it is one of the matters which are being Laken into account.

Sir Herbert Williams

Is the Minister aware that, under the Electricity Act, 1882, his Department and the undertaKinģs concerned are not permitted to do what the hon. Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère) has asked?

Mr. Smith

I pointed that out in the reply which I gave.

Mr. Moelwyn Huģhes

In the considerations which are before the Department, will the Minister include the question of a regional organisation under national control, as the only method by which the country districts can get cheap electricity?

Mr. De la Bère

I shall have to rouse the "Daily Express" to another campaign of enlightenment.