HC Deb 24 February 1948 vol 447 c1899

(1) Subsection (1) of Section forty-two of the principal Act (which requires statutory water undertakers being companies to prepare annual abstracts of the accounts of their undertakings) shall have effect as if the words "in such form as the Minister may direct," were omitted, and as if at the end of the Subsection there were added the following paragraph: The Minister may give directions as to the form of the abstracts to be prepared by statutory water undertakers under this Subsection, and such directions may be given either in relation to any particular undertakers or in relation to all undertakers of any specified class.

(2) Subsection (2) of the said Section forty-two (which requires such undertakers as aforesaid to transmit to the Minister and to certain local authorities copies of the abstracts prepared under that Section) shall have effect as if after the word "certified" there were inserted the words "and a copy of the balance sheet of the undertakers for the year to which the abstract relates."—[Mr. J. Edwards.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

10.0 p.m.

Mr. J. Edwards

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This new Clause is really to simplify and clear up certain points. The effect of Subsection (1) is to require water companies to prepare annual abstracts of accounts, and send copies to the Minister and to the local authorities in their area, whether or not the Minister has given directions as to the form in which the abstract shall be prepared. There is also some doubt whether the Minister can require water companies to furnish copies of their balance sheets to local authorities in their areas, and Subsection (2) specifically requires companies to do this. I do not see that this raises any matter of principle, as it is merely simplifying and clarifying what is happening at the present time.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.