The Electricity Council: Federalism and Finance

  • Leslie Hannah


The new Electricity Council under Self, and the Central Electricity Generating Board under Hinton, each began meeting formally in September 1957, and for the first four months ‘shadowed’ the decisions of Citrine’s CEA, as they prepared for their formal takeover on 1 January 1958. The new organisations inherited both the staff and the scattered Central London buildings of the CEA. It was not until 1963/4 that the Council and the CEGB moved to their present offices at, respectively, 30 Millbank (near Whitehall and Westminster) and in the City in Paternoster Square (next to St Paul’s). The weakest part of the new structure was the Electricity Council, with a staff of just over 500 and few formal powers. Twelve of its members — a majority — were from the now independent Area Boards and three from the CEGB. These fifteen Board representatives could impose their policies on the five central members — Self, Eccles, Citrine (now a relatively inactive part-timer), Edwards (the newcomer), and Melling (who had left the Eastern Board chairmanship for a new post at the centre). The new Council had no power to issue policy directives: the Ministry rather than they were the residuary legatee of the CEA in this respect.


Civil Servant Capital Expenditure Replacement Cost Electricity Industry Capital Budget 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    See e.g. C. Hinton, Proceedings of the British Electrical Power Convention 1958, p. 363.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a fuller account of changes in the Bulk Supply Tariff, see R. L. Meek, ‘The Bulk Supply Tariff for Electricity’, Oxford Economic Papers, new series vol. 15, 1963 (which, however, speculates inaccurately on the Area Boards being the motivating force in changes).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    R. S. Edwards, ‘The Influence of the Nationalised Industries’ Public Administration, vol. 39, 1961, p. 54. The industry did, however, use this as an argument for reducing the Boards’ target rates of return in subsequent years, an economically similar, but politically less noticeable, solution.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 7.
    Radcliffe Committee on the Working of the Monetary System, Minutes of Evidence, vol. 2, 1958, pp. 753–7.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    R. S. Edwards, ‘Objectives and Control in Nationalised Industries’, Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, vol. 9, 1963, p. 153.Google Scholar
  6. See also G. Turner, Business in Britain (1969) p. 177:Google Scholar
  7. R. S. Edwards, ‘The Finance of Electricity Supply’, Lloyds Bank Review, October 1960.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Sir Roy Harrod, Policy against Inflation (1958) p. 238.Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    CEGB evidence to the Committee in Report from the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries: The Electricity Supply Industry, vol. 3, Appendices and Index, 1963, p. 8. See also P. A. Lingard and G. England, ‘The Electricity Supply System and Economic Growth’, Proceedings of the British Electrical Power Convention 1964.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Electricity Council 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Hannah
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsUK

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