41. Colonel Clarke
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps he is taking to expedite the presentation of the Gas Council's Report for the year ended 30th April, 1950.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
I have impressed upon the Gas Council how desirable it is that their report and accounts should be presented with the least possible delay. They have expressed their full agreement with this view, and I am satisfied that they will submit the report as soon as they can.
Does the Minister recollect that before nationalisation the larger gas companies were under statutory obligation to present their accounts within three months of the end of the year—and many did so in a shorter time? Now that the industry is nationalised we have 589 already waited six months and look like waiting considerably longer. Does he consider that satisfactory?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
The units on which reports have to be made are now much bigger, and, owing to the great decentralisation of powers which has been carried through in gas, the task of co-ordinating the reports, and above all the accounts, is rather complex. Many of the reports are now with the printers; I hope that the Stationery Office will be able to get them out early in the new year, but I cannot give a firm date.