asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport if he will state the total estimated cost of the administration of the Electricity Commissioners' Department for the year ending 31st March, 1922; and whether he will consider the advisability of repealing Section 29 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, as the expense of the Electricity Commissioners levied on the undertakers under this Section is a direct tax on the electricity supply industry?
If my hon. Friend's question refers to the whole of Lancashire the answer is in the negative. In the West Lancashire district a Joint Electricity Authority is to be formed under a scheme submitted by the authorised undertakers. In Mid-Lancashire an inquiry has not yet been held, but alternative schemes have been submitted, one for the setting up of an Advisory Board and the other for constituting a Joint Electricity Authority. In South-East Lancashire proposals have been submitted by the undertakers to the Commissioners for the setting up of an Advisory Board, and these proposals are under consideration.
In view of the importance of the Electricity Bill which has just passed the other House, and is shortly coming to this House, will the hon. Gentleman see that the report of the South-East Lancashire inquiry, issued by the Commissioners to the various authorities, is published for the benefit of Members of this House?
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether he will consider the advisability of amending Section 19 of the Electricity Supply Act, 1919, so as to provide that the transitory powers of the Electricity Commissioners will cease where an advisory board scheme instead of a joint electricity authority has been set up in any electricity district?
I am advised that the powers mentioned may be of assistance to an Advisory Board, and I am therefore unable to recommend an alteration in the law in the sense indicated in the question.