asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether the representatives of the West Kent Electric Company, whose application for permission to erect a capital generating station at Erith is now before the Electricity Commissioners, had an interview with the Commissioners on the subject towards the end of last or the beginning of this year; if he will state whether the interview was an official or private one; if shorthand notes of the proceedings were taken; and if it is the custom of the Commissioners to grant such interviews to all applicants who have to appear before them at public inquiries?
I understand that the Electricity Commissioners have had more than one interview with representatives of the company. These interviews were of a semi-official nature, and shorthand notes were not taken. It is the custom of the Commissioners to grant interviews if by so doing they can advance the public interest.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether alternative proposals have been submitted to the Electricity Commissioners by the West Kent Electric Company and the County of London Electric Supply Company, respectively, for the supply of power for the electrical working of the South-Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies' suburban lines at more favourable rates than the railway companies could themselves generate power; whether these alternative offers were, however, made after the railway companies had disclosed their figures; whether, if the Commissioners refuse the application of the railway companies for permission to put up their own stations, the companies will have to abandon the electrification of their lines or accept one or other of the alternative offers in question; whether any loss that may result from the supply of power by either the West Kent Company or the County Company at non-remunerative rates will have to be made good at the expense of the general consumer; if he will state what provision will be made in this event to protect the interests of public users other than the railway companies; and if he will state whether, if the railway companies' application is refused and they subsequently decide to accept the offer of the County Company or the West Kent Company, a further local inquiry will be held under Section 11 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919?
An exhaustive public inquiry on this subject has just been concluded by the Commissioners, who, before arriving at their decision, will take into consideration all the facts of the case. Pending that decision, it is not possible to deal with particular points raised in the question. The reply to the last part of the question is in the negative.