The Second Fifteen Years of Nationalisation (1963–79)
  • Leslie Hannah


In 1963 the Scottish Boards could look with a greater confidence than they had felt for some time towards their future. In England and Wales, too, the engineers and managers in the electricity supply industry could view their future optimistically, as they surveyed past achievements and recent changes on the fifteenth anniversary of nationalisation, 1 April 1963. Nor was this purely bloated pride. In February 1963, their senior men had finished a gruelling period of intermittent examination over more than a year before the Commons Select Committee on Nationalised Industries, which for the first time was showing its teeth seriously.2 The Committee’s report, published in May of that year, was generally complimentary about the industry’s achievements, and gave support to the general direction of policy on which they were embarked, even supporting the industry’s views against that of Ministers on some issues where the two differed.3 The industry’s presentations to the Committee had been an accomplished public relations achievement in the best sense of the word: they did not skate over difficult issues, but confronted them logically, so that their doubts and hesitations could be shared and their priorities rationally appraised.4


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Notes and References

  1. 7.
    For a general account, see R. S. Edwards and R. D. V. Roberts, Status, Productivity and Pay: A Major Experiment: A Study of the Electricity Supply Industry’s Agreements and their Outcome 1961–1971, 1971.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    D. Targett, ‘Testing whether the annual capital investment of nationalised industries can be explained by private sector investment models: a working paper’, Applied Economics, vol. 10, 1978.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    R. Pryke, Public Enterprise in Practice (1971) pp. 194–6, 197–9. It is, of course, arguable that the rate of return in the US was too high.Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    R. Jones and O. Marriott, Anatomy of a Merger: A History of GEC, AEI and English Electric (1970).Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    See e.g. Central Policy Review Staff, The Future of the United Kingdom Power Plant Manufacturing Industry, 1976; ‘Generating a Turbine Nightmare’, The Economist, 9 December 1978, p. 82.Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    K. P. Gibbs and D. R. R. Fair, ‘The Magnox Stations: A Success Story’, Nucleonics, September 1966.Google Scholar
  7. 20.
    P. D. Henderson, ‘Two British Errors: Their Probable Size and Some Possible Lessons’, Oxford Economic Papers, new series, vol. 29, 1977.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    E.g. W. D. Montgomery and J. P. Quirk, Cost Escalation in Nuclear Power, Environmental Quality Laboratory Memorandum no. 21, Pasadena, California, 1978.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Electricity Council 1982

Authors and Affiliations

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

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