§ Lords Amendment: In page 3, line 17, leave out the words "exercise by them on behalf of the Board," and insert "delegation to them."
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
2705 This is only in order to make clear that the next Sub-section, which deals with delegation, shall govern the whole thing.
§ Mr. R. HUDSON
I only ask, for the purpose of having it on record, whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman is quite satisfied that "delegation" is the same as "exercise on behalf of"?
Lords Amendment: In page 3, line 19, at the end, insert
(3) Where proposals are made to the Board by any association of owners of generating stations which, by virtue of this Act, become selected stations within an area for which a scheme has been adopted under this Act for the delegation to the association of any powers and duties of the Board within that area, then, if the Board are satisfied that the association making the proposals is a fit and proper body to carry out those powers and duties, the Board shall comply with the proposals if and so far as they consider it practicable to do so without prejudice to the efficient discharge of the general duties of the Board, or to the efficient execution of the scheme within the area, but subject to such conditions as the Board may think fit to impose.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
The object of this is to require the Board, under certain conditions, to delegate such powers and duties as can conveniently be dealt with focally by an association of owners of selected stations, and the House will observe that by a later Amendment neither the power of adopting schemes nor the power of fixing tariffs can be delegated, so that I think it sufficiently safeguards the position.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
Previously, in discussing the Bill, any idea of compulsory delegation was ruled out. Suggestions were made for delegation to definite bodies set up, such as Joint Electricity Authorities and Joint Boards, and the reply we had on behalf of the Government in each case was that it was much better to leave the Board unfettered. Now there are inserted words proposing that an association of owners of generating stations—not, apparently, all owners of generating stations—in any particular area, may, if they satisfy certain conditions 2706 apply for delegation, and then the Board shall comply with these proposals for delegation, subject to certain conditions. Either these are effective instructions to the Board that they are to delegate, in which case we oppose it, or it is nothing of the sort, because it is so wrapped up by such words as "if the Board consider it practicable to do so without prejudice," and so forth, that it becomes a matter of surplusage. It is either mischievous or meaningless. Does this really make the Board do anything at all? Does it really impose anything on their unfettered will, or is it merely put in because it is liked to see something of the sort, although not really operative?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
It is not a mandatory order which the Board must in all circumstances obey, because it will be seen that the Board is only to comply with the proposal for delegationso far as they consider it practicable to do so without prejudice to the efficient discharge of the general duties of the Board, or to the efficient execution of the scheme within the area, but subject to such conditions as the Board may think fit to impose.I think the effect of it is merely to indicate to the Board that if there is an association which is desirous of having powers delegated to it, the Board is to consider favourably the application, if it be satisfied that the delegation can take place without prejudice to the efficient discharge of the duties imposed by the Board. Unless the Board is so satisfied, of course, it is not not bound to delegate, and, as I have pointed out, later on one or two things are expressly excluded from delegation, including important matters like adopting a scheme and fixing a tariff, which are not matters which ought to be left to any delegated authority.
§ Mr. HARDIE
With reference to the words,Where proposals are made to the Board by any association—I understood from the outset of the consideration of this Bill that all proposals were to come from the Electricity Commissioners. I understood that a scheme, either the whole or any part of a scheme, was to be dealt with by the Commissioners, and the reasons given for that were that if we wanted a homogeneous 2707 scheme we must have it governed by one body of men keeping the whole thing working logically. If we are going to admit the wordsWhere proposals are made,it means that any group or association can make proposals. It is no answer to say that the Board have to approve of the proposals. My point is, is not this a contradiction of the other part of the Bill?
§ Mr. TOWNEND
Is it not a fact that the Clause, not being mandatory, leaves to the Board the option of delegating powers to someone else? Assuming there are two bodies which are fit and proper bodies to whom powers should be delegated, is it not possible under this Clause that one of the bodies, by virtue of making these proposals, may stake a claim against any other body, howsoever fit and proper that other body may be, having the powers? Is it possible under this Clause to debar some body, which is a fit and proper body, from taking over the delegated powers from the Board?
§ The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Colonel Ashley)
In answer to the hon. Member, I would point out that the discretion must rest with the Board absolutely. During the earlier stages of the Bill it was repeatedly pressed upon the Government to delegate if possible, if it could be done without prejudice to the scheme as a whole; and therefore this provision was put in another place. We support it because it is a finger post pointing out to the Board the direction
§ they should take if they think fit and proper and if it does not hurt the scheme in any way.
§ Mr. KELLY
The more one hears in explanation, the more one realises the uselessness of this proposal. I was waiting to hear from either the Attorney-General or the Ministry of Transport some of the powers which would be delegated by the Board. What are the powers which the Board may delegate? I think before we agree to this proposal we ought to know that.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Surely we are going to have an answer in regard to this matter of the powers. It is only courteous on the part of the Minister.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I did not know whether I should be in order in speaking more than three times, but I will answer at once. The powers delegated may be any powers except those of adopting schemes and fixing tariffs. The particular sort of power, which probably was in their minds in another place and which certainly is in my mind, is, for instance, the power to direct which selected station should produce what amount of current in a particular area. Obviously it might be very convenient that the owners of the selected stations should be able to arrange among themselves, having an association for that purpose, exactly how the necessary current shall be generated most economically from the selected stations in the area. That is only one illustration, but that is the type of power I had in mind.
§ Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 200; Noes, 93.2711
|Division No. 561.]||AYES.||[10.51 p.m.|
|Albery, Irving James||Briggs, J. Harold||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Briscoe, Richard George||Crooke. J. Smedley (Derltend)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brown, Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Crookshank. Cpt. H. (Lindsey. Gainsbro)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Buckingham, Sir H.||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Bullock, Captain M.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon, Stanley||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Dixey, A. C.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Drewe, C.|
|Balniel, Lord||Campbell, E. T.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M,||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Chapman, Sir S.||Elveden, Viscount|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Christie, J. A.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Fairfax. Captain J. G.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. w.||Cope, Major William||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Courtauld. Major J. S.||Fermoy, Lord|
|Fielden, E. B,||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Finburgh, S.||Loder, J. de V.||Rye, F. G.|
|Forrest, W.||Looker, Herbert William||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Foster, Sip Harry S.||Lord. Walter Greaves-||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lougher, L.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Fremantle, Lieut. -Colonel Francis E.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sandon, Lord|
|Gates, Percy||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Savery, S. S.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||MacIntyre, Ian||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renfrew, W)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. HI. Hon. Sir John||McLean, Major A.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Goff, Sir Park||Macmillan, Captain H,||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Greene, w. P. Crawford||Macquisten. F. A.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Stanley, col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Malone, Major P. B.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Merriman, F. B.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Harland, A.||Meyer, Sir Frank.||Sueter, Roar-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hawks, John Anthony||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Headlam. Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Henderson Lieut.-Col. v. L. (Bootle)||Murchison, C. K.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Neville, R. J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Waddington, R.|
|Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Oakley, T.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hilton, Cecil||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wells. S. R.|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Perring, Sir William George||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Ramsden, E.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Inskip. Sir Thomas Walker H.||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Womersley, W. J.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Jacob, A. E.||Remer, J. R.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Rentoul, G. S.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYE.—|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||Captain Lord Stanley and Captain|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Margesson.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Grundy, T. W.||Murnin, H.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Baker, Walter||Hardie, George D.||Owen, Major G.|
|Barnes, A.||Harris, Percy A.||Paling, W.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayday, Arthur||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Bonn, Capt. In Wedgwood (Leith)||Hayes, John Henry||Potts, John S.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Bromley, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Riley, Ben|
|Buchanan. G.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Close, W. S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Salter. Dr. Alfred|
|Compton. Joseph||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Scurr, John|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kelly, W. T.||Sexton, James|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kennedy, T.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lansbury, George||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Dennison, R.||Lawrence, Susan||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Duncan, C.||Lee, F.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Lindley, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Fenby, T. D.||Lowth, T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lunn, William||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gardner, J. P.||MacLaren, Andrew||Taylor, R. A.|
|Gillett, George M.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||March, S.||Townend, A. E.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maxton, James||Viant, S. P.|
|Greenall, D, R, (Glamorgan)||Montague, Frederick||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Groves T.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Westwood, J.||Windsor, Waller||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)||Wright, W.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Williams, T. (York, Don Valley!||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)||Charles Edwards.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Subsequent Lords Amendments, down to page 3, line 22, agreed to.