HC Deb 06 April 1965 vol 710 cc221-2
7. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Power if he will seek to amend the Electricity Act, 1957, so as to restore to the electricity boards, and particularly to the Central Electricity Generating Board, the right to manufacture plant and equipment.

Mr. John Morris

Yes, Sir, as an opportunity arises.

Mr. Palmer

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that this was a very valuable reserve power for the supply authorities and that it greatly assisted them in their contractual dealings with the manufacturers?

Mr. Morris

I appreciate that.

Mr. Ridley

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether he has had any request from the electricity industry for the restoration of such powers? Will he change his mind in view of the very strong arguments against the proposals of his hon. Friend?

Mr. Morris

The powers in the 1947 Act were never used, and we have not yet received any request from the boards to restore them. These are very important reserve powers and we have undertaken to introduce legislation, when such legislation is required, to remove the statutory limits which impede the nationalised industries.