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Parliamentary Reporter.

WELLINGTON, this day,

It was proposed to "institute the necessary inquiries" into charges made by the Auckland Gas Company, Limited, for gas consumed during May and June, said the Minister of Industries and Commerce, Mr. Sullivan, when replying to a question in the House of Representatives yesterday.

The Minister was replying to a question asked recently by five Auckland Government members who claimed that during Mgiy and June the gas supply in Auckland was severely restricted, but the bills received by consumers were alleged to exceed those received before the restrictions.

Mr. Hackett (Govt., Grey Lynn) said the inquiry should be instituted as rapidly as possible, as many people were refusing to pay their accounts and their discount was endangered. "I do not profess to be a gas engineer, but it seems to me that when the gas is turned off at the main all the pipes become full of air," added Mr. Hackett. "When the gas is turned on again at certain periods of the day it seems that the air xs driven through the meters and registers as if it were gas. In other words, the Auckland Gas Company appears to be charging for air."

Mr. Hackett also referred to the lower calorific value of the gas during that period and said he could produce a sheaf of bills during June and July which were greater than in May although there had been no gas at times during those months. Some of the accounts were as much as 10/ higher. Mr. Osborne (Govt., Onehunga): That will help the shareholders pay for the new retorts.

"It took three times as long to boil a kettle with the gas available, so consumers were paying three times as much for their gas," added Mr. Hackett.

"The Government did not give them any coal," said Mr. Goosman (Nat., Waikato). "Before the war the Auckland Gas Company refused to take coal from the southern mines," said Mr. Hackett. "You cannot blame the miners entirely, as they had gone so far as to ask the company if it would take southern coal, but were told that it could get all the coal required from Australia. The shortage of gas was caused first of all by the company not supporting home industries."

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Bibliographic details

BIGGER GAS ACCOUNTS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

Word Count

BIGGER GAS ACCOUNTS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

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