Mr. De la Bère
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will make a statement as to the extent of the practice by some gas and electricity undertakings of exacting a deposit before the installation of meters; and whether he will give an approximate figure of the sums of money belonging to the public which are utilised in this manner.
Major Lloyd George
Many gas and electricity undertakings have obtained powers under statute to require security, by way of deposit or otherwise, from prospective consumers. The Acts provide1824W that the amount of the security is a matter for agreement between the parties, or in default of agreement, may be determined on the application of either party by a Court of Summary Jurisdiction. In most cases interest must be paid on deposits taken as security, usually at the rate of 4 per cent. As regards the second part of the Question, I regret that I have no information as to the extent to which gas and electricity undertakings exercise their rights to demand a deposit.