Citrine’s Way

  • Leslie Hannah


Within a few months of Labour’s election victory, Herbert Morrison, who had overall charge of Labour’s nationalisation programme, confirmed the Government’s intention of nationalising electricity and other fuel industries. Emmanuel Shinwell, the Minister of Fuel and Power, started on the legislation for nationalising coal, and electricity nationalisation was relegated to the 1946/7 session of Parliament.1 The Electricity Bill then introduced followed in broad outline the plans foreshadowed by wartime working parties on the future of the industry, and, to the relief of the industry, confirmed that it would remain independent of coal and gas, and not be part of a National Fuel and Power Board. The 200 companies and 369 local authority undertakings, together with the Central Electricity Board and the nearly 300 power stations owned and operated by these organisations, were to be transferred to a new public body, the British Electricity Authority. (The industry unsuccessfully requested that ‘Supply’ should be included in the title to avoid confusion with the other ‘BEA’, British European Airways.)


Civil Servant Labour Relation Central Authority Organise Committee Chief Engineer 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    The nationalisation legislation is exhaustively treated in Sir Norman Chester, The Nationalisation of British Industry 1945–1951 (1975).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. Shinwell, I’ve Lived Through it All (1973) p. 192.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. Kelf-Cohen, Nationalisation in Britain: The End of a Dogma (1958). These remarks perhaps owe more to their sense of awe at the size of the administrative task which had been decided on for political reasons than to a rational assessment of desirable policy options.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    L. Hannah, Electricity before Nationalisation: A Study of the Development of Electricity Supply in Britain to 1948 (London and Baltimore, 1979) pp. 336–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 6.
    Lord Citrine, Two Careers (1967) pp. 252–7.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    See generally R. Messenger, The Doors of Opportunity: A Biography of Dame Caroline Haslett (1967).Google Scholar
  7. 23.
    Lord Citrine’s address to the Electrical Research Association, 1948, quoted approvingly in C. O. Boyse, ‘Developments in Electricity Supply, Proceedings of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, vol. 96, part 2, 1949, p. 5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Electricity Council 1982

Authors and Affiliations

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

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