HC Deb 12 December 1967 vol 756 cc199-200
29. Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the Minister of Power whether he will give a general direction to electricity boards to bring their hire-purchase terms into line financially with terms offered by free enterprise electrical contractors.

Mr. Freeson

Private enterprise rates vary considerably. I have no evidence that rates charged by electricity boards are either excessive or uneconomic.

Mr. Lewis

Does the Minister not agree that the electricity boards are able to provide advantageous rates because they can raise money more easily from the Government? At this time will he see that this kind of advantage which they secure over private enterprise is not permitted?

Mr. Freeson

Hon. Members opposite should try to hide their prejudices a little more in regard to the nationalised industries. There is nothing wrong with the commercial practice of the boards in this respect and they are making a good profit out of it. Taking all the 12 area boards together, a profit of something like £2.7 million was made out of this side of then-business. It is something which should be encouraged.

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