HC Deb 04 February 1952 vol 495 cc611-2
2. Mr. Peter Roberts

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will now say what salaries and expenses are paid to the part-time members of the Yorkshire Electricity Board; and, approximately, how many hours attendance each member averages per year.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

As to the first part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to page 6 of the recent White Paper about members of public boards (Cmd. 8433). Information in the form asked for in the second part is not available.

Mr. Roberts

When considering this matter will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that these appointments are not the same as those of directors in the ordinary sense, in that the term of years is very much longer and the responsibility is very much less? In view of the need for economy will my right hon. Friend consider reducing the number of these members and also reducing their salaries?

Mr. Lloyd

No, Sir.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

Is it not a fact that the responsibility of the part-time members is very considerable and that some of them give a great deal of time to their work? Can the right hon. Gentleman give us some comparable information about directors' salaries in large private companies?

Mr. Roberts

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that in a recent case the part-time members were not responsible for the large sums expended? In view of that their position is not the same as that of directors under the Companies Act. Will my right hon. Friend consider this matter, as electricity consumers in the Yorkshire area are having to pay increased charges because of this?

Mr. Lloyd

The responsibility in the case to which my hon. Friend refers was decided upon by the Director of Public Prosecutions and by the court in relation to a particular matter. I do not think that it would be wise to under-estimate the weight of the responsibilities which the part-time members bear in general.