HC Deb 07 December 1939 vol 355 cc847-8W
Mr. W. H. Green

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a Government grant is being made to the South Metropolitan Gas Company in respect of expenditure incurred in undertaking extensive Civil Defence measures at the re- quest of the Government; and, as this expenditure is stated by the company to be the chief factor justifying the recent increase in the price of gas to the user, can he state the proportion of such expenditure being borne by the company concerned?

Mr. Stanley

A grant will be made to the company in respect of approved capital expenditure incurred on measures taken at the direction of the Government. In addition the company are voluntarily undertaking, at the suggestion of the Government, a substantial number of other measures involving capital expenditure only part of which will rank for grant. The exact proportion cannot at present be stated but it will be substantially less than 50 per cent. of the total capital expenditure.

Much of the expenditure referred to as causing an increase in the price of gas falls on the company's revenue and does not rank for grant. I am not aware that the company have stated that expenditure for air-raid precaution purposes is the chief factor justifying the recent increase in price.