The Future of the Electrical Trades


    THE Departmental Committee appointed by the Board of Trade to consider the position of the electrical trades after the war, with special reference to international competition, has now issued a Report (Cd. 9072, price 2d.). Like other similar Committees, this urges that "remedial and unifying legislation governing the supply and distribution of electrical energy should be introduced forthwith." A historical resume of electrical enterprise in this country is given, and it is pointed out that, like the automobile industry, it has been hampered all through by the lack of a scientific outlook on the part of the officials of our Government Departments. Acting according to their lights, they encouraged competing companies using different types of plant and different systems to set up in the same area, the reason given being that the healthy competition. would cheapen the supply to the consumer. The mischievous effect of this policy is well illustrated by the circular issued by the Board of Trade in 1916 calling on the supply companies to link up with one another in the national interests so as to reduce the consumption of coal and economise labour. That is, after making it practically impossible for the companies to link up, the Board calls on them to do so.

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    The Future of the Electrical Trades. Nature 101, 414–415 (1918).

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