As the nuclear power programme was expanding behind the scenes, the post-Herbert legislative process of reorganising the industry was unfolding in Parliament, following the confirmation of the Government’s intention to change the structure of the industry in November 1956. Aubrey Jones had initially met some resistance in Cabinet to the proposal to decentralise power, but he had been able to show strong back-bench support. As the nuclear programme clearly interested the Cabinet, he placed the establishment of a separate generating board (which he presented as vital to facilitate nuclear development) at the centre of his argument for change. Guided by the precedent of the gas boards, Jones and his civil servants also agreed to take the Herbert proposal to give more autonomy to the Area Boards even further, and to cut down the powers of the proposed Central Authority. The bill he introduced thus made the new Central Electricity Generating Board and the twelve existing Area Boards in England and Wales responsible directly to the Minister. The proposed new Central Authority was reduced to an Electricity Council on which each of the twelve area chairmen and three representatives of the Generating Board would sit together with a chairman and other independent central members.
KeywordsCentral Authority Nuclear Programme Atomic Energy Authority Area Board Nuclear Development
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Notes and References
- 1.Written in later life, see Lord Hinton of Bankside, Heavy Current Electricity in the United Kingdom (Oxford, 1979) p. 76.Google Scholar
- 2.These were later published as R. S. Edwards and H. Townsend (eds) Business Enterprise (1958) chs 19–22.Google Scholar
- 4.D. C. Coleman, Courtaulds: An Economic and Social History, vol. 3, Crisis and Change 1940–65 (Oxford, 1980) p. 317.Google Scholar