Electricity, Greater London.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 11th April 1921.

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Photo of Mr James Gilbert Mr James Gilbert , Southwark Central

23.

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in July of last year, the Electricity Commissioners provisionally determined an electricity district for the Greater London area under the provisions of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919; whether, at the same time, they invited the various interested parties to submit by a certain date representations with respect to such area and, if so desired, schemes providing for the reorganisation of electricity supply in the district; whether, as the result of this invitation, the London County Council, the local authorities, and a number of companies have, in combination or separately, prepared at much expense schemes which they have submitted to the Commissioners; whether the Commissioners have provisionally announced that an inquiry with respect to such schemes will be opened early in June next; whether, in the light of experience gained in connection with inquiries already opened by the Commissioners with respect to other districts, it is anticipated that the inquiry into the London case, if held, will occupy a very considerable period and involve heavy expenditure to all the parties concerned; whether it is essential, if a scheme is to be approved to deal with the London area, that additional financial powers supplementary to those contained in the Act of 1919 should be first approved by Parliament; and if, in these circumstances, and with a view to avoiding fruitless expenditure of public money, he will state whether the Government proposes to introduce, as promised by him in December last, at an early date a Bill to confer these additional powers?

Photo of Sir Eric Geddes Sir Eric Geddes , Cambridge

The answers to the various statements in the hon. Member's' question are in the affirmative, though, as the hon. Member is aware, the Electricity Commissioners have made arrangements by which the inquiry will be shortened as far as possible with a view to reducing expenditure to a minimum. As regards the final sentence, I would refer him to the answer which I have just given to Questions 15 and 17.

Photo of Mr James Remnant Mr James Remnant , Holborn

Will the right hon. Gentleman give us any estimate of the expense of holding this inquiry?

Photo of Sir Eric Geddes Sir Eric Geddes , Cambridge

Perhaps the hon. Baronet will put a question down.