HC Deb 29 April 1969 vol 782 cc1139-40
2. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Power if he will now make a statement on the reorganisation of the electricity supply industry.

5. Mr. Lane

asked the Minister of Power whether he will make a statement before the Whitsun adjournment on his plans for the reorganisation of the electricity industry.

38. Mr. Boston

asked the Minister of Power when the expects to announce the results of his review of the structure of the electricity industry.

Mr. Mason

I have had extensive consultations with those principally concerned with the structure and organisation of the industry. As soon as I have reached a final conclusion, I will inform the House.

Mr. Palmer

Now that my right hon. Friend has received the Report of his Working Party, does he not think that it would be useful to all concerned to publish it as a White Paper?

Mr. Mason

I will certainly consider that, but first I must complete all the necessary consultations. So far, I have met the Electricity Council, the C.E.G.B., the 12 area board chairmen and representatives of the principal unions concerned.

Mr. Lane

In any legislation which the Minister may be considering, will he bear in mind the possibility of including a provision that, in future, it will be wholly at the discretion of the Chairman of the Electricity Council to make any further changes in organisation which may be necessary?

Mr. Mason

I will keep that in mind.

Mr. Boston

Can my right hon. Friend give any idea when he will be able to say what his final findings are? What consideration has he been giving to creating larger areas?

Mr. Mason

Larger areas are very much in doubt. On the first point, it will be some time before we can complete the round of consultations and firm up our ideas sufficiently to be able to determine when legislation will be necessary.

Sir J. Eden

Could I press the right hon. Gentleman to consider tabling a White Paper on this matter? To what extent could some of the changes be made in advance of legislation?

Mr. Mason

As I said earlier, I will certainly consider the publication of a White Paper at an appropriate time.

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