§ 86. Mr. Dodds - Parker
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that S.R. & O., No. 2087, referring to the reduction of electricity and gas consumption, lays down that every person concerned most reduce weekly consumption to 97 per cent. of the amount of such consumption at the last meter reading before 21st December, 1946; that the consumption of many theatres in respect of that weekly meter reading was negligible, as they were closed for Christmas pantomime rehearsals; and whether, in view of the fact that the Order is, therefore, inoperable by such theatres, he will amend it, or give some general direction which will enable such places to reduce their consumption by 2½ per cent. in relation to their normal average rate of consumption.
§ Mr. Shinwell
The hon. Member is construing the Order wrongly when he suggests that any consumer is required to effect economies of gas and electricity88W consumption week by week based on a consumption in a particular week. The Order requires the reduction of consumption in each of three four-weekly periods over a consumption calculated by reference to a basic period; the basic period is that of the last meter reading made by the undertakers supplying the gas or electricity and is normally a one or three month period. The choice of larger periods was deliberately designed to overcome the difficulties that the hon. Member has in mind. It would appear, therefore, that the second and third parts of the Question do not arise.