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North-Western Board (Chairman)

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what experience of the electrical industry is possessed by the newly-appointed chairman of the North-Western Electricity Board in the place of Mr. George Gibson.

The post of chairman of an area electricity board is an administrative one, for which previous experience in the industry is not essential. Sir Joseph Hallsworth has wide administrative experience and my right hon. Friend is satisfied that he is exceptionally well-fitted for the post.

Do we understand from that answer that the Parliamentary Secretary considers that, apart from administrative knowledge, no technical knowledge is either necessary or desirable in this type of case?

The hon. Member must have misheard. I was referring to the chairman of this particular Board. He is well supported by many experienced people on the Board.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there is no feeling whatsoever amongst those who work in the industry against the appointment, and that these politically-inspired attacks are not supported in the industry, especially against a man of proved ability and integrity?

Yes, Sir; indeed, my right hon. Friend has now received a letter from the trade union side of the National Joint Industrial Council dissociating themselves from this opposition and expressing their confidence in Sir Joseph Hallsworth as being eminently suitable for the post.