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Clause 18—(Acquisition Of Undertakings By Agreement)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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I beg to move, in page 14, line 14, to leave out from the beginning, to "shall," in line 17, and to insert:

"Before entering into any negotiations with a view to an agreement for the transfer to the Board of any undertaking which any other undertakers are empowered by or under any Act to acquire, the Board shall notify those undertakers of their intention, to enter into such negotiations and the Electricity Commissioners, before approving any such agreement."
Hon. Members will recollect that when Clause 18 was being considered in the Committee stage some apprehensions were expressed by hon. Members that an injustice was being done to existing undertakers who by their charters given by this House had a right to purchase by agreement other undertakings within their areas. Hon. Members believed that Clause 18, as we had drafted it, only provided for the Electricity Commissioners informing the existing undertakers who had these charters that negotiations had been entered into by the Board with the other properties that were sought to be acquired after discussions had taken place. Some Members felt that this was unfair to the chartered undertakings and that they ought to be informed before the negotiations began, so that they might be in a position to make representations in the public interest as well as in their own that negotiations would take a certain form or should not be concluded, and what this Amendment seeks to ensure is that before the Board enter into any negotiations they shall notify these undertakers of their intention to do so before the negotiations begin. We think this is fair and reasonable, and there is general concurrence on this matter.

Amendment agreed to.