Electricity and Gas (Consumption) Order

Part of Orders of the Day — Pensions (Increase) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1947.

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Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire 12:00 am, 23rd January 1947

I do not think that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power has said anything which would justify my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir J. Mellor) withdrawing the, Motion. It seems to me the hon. Gentleman has said nothing which meets the many very important points that were raised, but in the concluding sentences of his speech he referred to the encouragement that this Rule and Order was supposed to give to the miners. We had long been assured that when the flag of the National Coal Board was hoisted over the collieries of Great Britain and the mines became public property no further action would be needed in order to secure maximum results from that quarter.

The hon. Gentleman also said in the course of his interesting speech that the Government and his Department had now definitely abandoned in this sphere the matter of voluntary appeal to British citizens and industry to come in and help in this undoubted hour of national crisis. We have always been told that this is a people's Government—the consummation of the hopes and ambitions of millions of people over many years. This is a most interesting commentary on the justification of that point of view that a Government so created and presumably still so sustained feel that a voluntary appeal is quite impossible. There was a time when the people of this country responded to voluntary appeals.