My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Viscount Peel, I beg to move the Motion which appears on the Paper agreeing with the Commons in the modifications they have made in the London and Home Counties Electricity District Order. It looks rather more formidable than it really is and perhaps the procedure requires a word of explanation. The Order in question does not take effect until it is approved by both Houses. Your Lordships approved the Order after it had been referred to a Select Committee, with one modification, which is incorporated in the modifications you are now asked to approve. After your Lordships had approved the Order, it came up for approval in the 506 House of Commons, the Motion being made to approve the Order in exactly the same form as passed by your Lordships' House. But in the House of Commons the Motion to approve the Order was amended by further modifications, which the Motion I now move asks your Lordships also to approve.
If this Motion is not carried, the result will be that the Order has been approved by your Lordships' House in one form and by the House of Commons in another form. No Order can take effect until it has been approved by both Houses of Parliament in the same form. The effect of this Motion is to give your Lordships' approval to the Order as modified by the House of Commons, and if it is carried the Order will have been approved by both Houses. The effect of one Amendment which stands in the name of the noble Viscount is simply to change the date. That is the effect of the last Amendment. The other Amendments are concerned with the exclusion of the Watford area from the operation of the Order. All these Amendments have been carefully considered by the Ministry and have been approved by them.
Moved, That this House agrees to the modifications, subject to which the Order made by the Electricity Commissioners under the Electricity (Supply) Acts, 1882 to 1922, and confirmed by the Minister of Transport under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, constituting the London and Home Counties Electricity District, and establishing and incorporating the London and Home Counties Joint Electricity Authority, which was presented on the 21st day of May, 1925, has been approved by the House of Commons, and approves the said Order as so modified, viz:—
In Article 7 the deletion of lines lb to 20, inclusive.
In paragraph 1 of the Schedule the deletion of lines 32 and 33, page 20, and the substitution of the words "the municipal borough of Hertford."
The deletion of the word "Bushey" in line 34, page 20, and of the word "Rickmansworth" in line 36, page 20.
The deletion of lines 37 to 43 inclusive, page 20, and the substitution of the words "The rural districts of Barnet, Hatfield, Hertford, St. Albans, Ware, and Welwyn; the detached part (lying between the rural districts of Ware and Epping) of the parish of High Wych, in the rural district of Hadham."
The parish of Flaunden, in the rural district of Hemel Hempstead.
507 So much of the urban district of Rickmansworth and the rural district of Watford as are not included in the authorised area of supply of the Corporation of Watford as constituted at the date of this Order.
In paragraph (3) (a) of Part I of the Second Annex the deletion of the words "Watford…Watford Corporation."
Clause 39, subsection (2), paragraph (b), after the first "district" insert "represented on the Joint Authority."
In paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part II of the First Annex, the deletion of the word "April" wherever it occurs, and the substitution of the word "December"—(Viscount Peel.)
§ VISCOUNT HALDANE
My Lords, I have looked into the modifications inserted by the other House as closely as I am able to do and so far as I can speak with any authority, and it is only for myself, my advice to your Lordships is to accept the alterations made by the Commons. They make very little difference. The one material point is, I think, that which has been alluded to by the noble Viscount—namely, the exclusion of the Watford area. I had rather that it had not been excluded, but it can be put in again at a later stage. The great importance of this scheme is that it sets up an electricity authority for London and the Home Counties. That is an enormous step forward, which will give rise to a good deal of employment and will become operative very soon. I should be very sorry if anything drove us to put back this long delayed scheme. Here it is in a form which at any rate will work very well. I think that your Lordships would do well to accept the Motion of the noble Viscount and to adopt it with the alterations that have been made, which are not really material to its principle.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.