Gas Act 1972

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1972 c. 60


Gas Act 1972

1972 CHAPTER 60

An Act to make fresh provision with respect to the gas industry in Great Britain and related matters, and for purposes connected therewith.

[9th August 1972]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I New Structure for British Gas Industry

Part I

New Structure for British Gas Industry

The British Gas Corporation

The British Gas Corporation

S-1 The British Gas Corporation.

1 The British Gas Corporation.

(1) As from such day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint for the purposes of this Act, being a day not later than 1st July 1973, the body established under the Gas Act 1948 by the name of the Gas Council shall continue in existence as a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal, but—

(a ) shall be known as the British Gas Corporation, and

(b ) shall consist of members appointed by the Secretary of State under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

and on that day, the Area Boards established under the said Act of 1948 shall be dissolved, and all property, rights, liabilities and obligations vested in any of them immediately before that day shall vest in the British Gas Corporation by virtue of this Act and without further assurance.

(2) The Secretary of State shall appoint as members of the Corporation—

(a ) a chairman, and

(b ) not less than ten nor more than twenty other persons, of whom he may designate one or more as deputy chairman or deputy chairmen;

and in making appointments to the Corporation, the Secretary of State shall have regard to the desirability of having members who are familiar with the special requirements and circumstances of particular regions and areas.

(3) The Corporation shall pay to the members thereof such remuneration and such allowances as may be determined by the Secretary of State with the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service, and, if the Secretary of State with the consent of that Minister so determines in the case of any person who is or has been a member of the Corporation, shall pay or make arrangements for the payment of a pension to or in respect of that person in accordance with the determination; and if a person ceases to be a member of the Corporation and it appears to the Secretary of State that there are special circumstances which make it right that that person should receive compensation, the Secretary of State may require the Corporation to pay to that person a sum of such amount as the Secretary of State may with the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service determine.

(4) The Secretary of State may make regulations with respect to—

(a ) the appointment of, and the tenure and vacation of office by, members of the Corporation,

(b ) the quorum, proceedings, meetings and determinations of the Corporation,

(c ) the execution of instruments and the mode of entering into contracts by and on behalf of the Corporation, and the proof of documents purporting to be executed, issued or signed by the Corporation or a member or officer thereof, and

(d ) any other matters supplementary or incidental to those above mentioned for which provision appears to the Secretary of State to be necessary or expedient.

Subject to any such regulations, the Corporation shall have power to regulate their own procedure.

(5) The validity of any proceedings of the Corporation shall not be affected by any vacancy among the members or by any defect in the appointment of a member.

(6) The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for the purpose of supplementing the preceding provisions of this section.

S-2 Principal duties and powers of Corporation.

2 Principal duties and powers of Corporation.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Corporation to develop and maintain an efficient, co-ordinated and economical system of gas supply for Great Britain, and to satisfy, so far as it is economical to do so, all reasonable demands for gas in Great Britain.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, the Corporation shall have power to carry on all such activities as it may appear to them to be requisite, advantageous or convenient for them to carry on for or in connection with the discharge of their duly under subsection (1) above, including in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the preceding provision, power—

(a ) to search and bore for and get natural gas,

(b ) to bore for and get petroleum found in the form of crude oil in the course of searching, boring for or getting natural gas, to treat any petroleum got by virtue of this paragraph for the purpose of rendering it saleable in the form of crude oil, to supply or sell any such petroleum (whether or not so treated) to any person, and to supply or sell to any person any by-products obtained in the process of treating any such petroleum for the purpose of rendering it so saleable,

(c ) to manufacture gas (and to use for that purpose any petroleum, whether got by virtue of paragraph (b ) above or otherwise),

(d ) to acquire gas from any source,

(e ) to transmit and distribute gas,

(f ) to manufacture, treat, render saleable, supply or sell any by-products obtained in the process of manufacturing gas, and any products made or derived from gas or from any by-product so obtained,

(g ) to manufacture plant required by the Corporation, and to instal, repair, maintain or remove any such plant, and

(h ) to manufacture gas fittings, to sell, hire or otherwise supply gas fittings, and to instal, repair, maintain or remove gas fittings.

In this subsection ‘petroleum’ means petroleum within the meaning of the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 .

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) above, the Corporation shall not, except with the consent of the Secretary of State and in accordance with any conditions he may attach to his consent—

(a ) carry out any operations for searching or boring for natural gas, or for getting natural gas, otherwise than within Great Britain, the territorial waters of the United Kingdom adjacent to Great Britain or an area for the time being designated under section 1(7) of the Continental Shelf Act 1964 , or

(b ) export gas, or

(c ) manufacture gas fittings for export.

S-3 Duties of Corporation towards employees, and in respect of research.

3 Duties of Corporation towards employees, and in respect of research.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Corporation, in exercising and performing the functions conferred or imposed on them by this Act or any other enactment, to promote the welfare, health and safety of persons in their employment.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Corporation, in consultation with any organisation appearing to them to be appropriate, to make provision for advancing the skill of persons employed by them, including the provision by them, and the assistance of the provision by others, of facilities for training and education.

(3) It shall be the duty of the Corporation to settle from time to time, in consultation with the Secretary of State, a general programme of research into matters affecting gas supply and other matters affecting their functions, and of technological development connected with such matters, and to secure (whether by themselves conducting research into, or technological development connected with, any such matters, or by making arrangements for the conduct of such research or development by others) the carrying out of any programme so settled.

S-4 Duties of Corporation as respects management of affairs.

4 Duties of Corporation as respects management of affairs.

(1) The Corporation shall, forthwith after the appointed day and subsequently from time to time when they consider it appropriate or the Secretary of State so requires—

(a ) undertake a review of the affairs of the Corporation and their subsidiaries for the purpose of determining how the management of the activities of the Corporation and their subsidiaries can most efficiently be organised, and

(b ) make a report to the Secretary of State upon the Corporation's conclusions arising from the review.

(2) The Corporation's report on their first review under subsection (1) above shall be made to the Secretary of State before such date as he may after consultation with them determine.

(3) The Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of any report under subsection (1) above, and may after doing so, and after considering the report and consulting the Corporation about it, give to the Corporation such directions as he considers appropriate for securing that the management of the activities of the Corporation and their subsidiaries is organised in the most efficient manner; and it shall be the duty of the Corporation to give effect to any such directions.

(4) The Corporation shall exercise their control over any subsidiary of theirs so as to secure that the subsidiary does not, either alone or in association with any other person, engage in any activity which the Corporation are not empowered to carry on, but not so as to prevent any subsidiary from carrying on with the consent of the Secretary of State, and in accordance with any conditions attached thereto, any activity which the Corporation would have power to carry on if the consent had been given to them.

(5) It shall be the duty of the Corporation, in appointing persons to manage on their behalf the carrying on of any of their activities in particular regions of Great Britain, to secure that any such region shall consist of, or lie exclusively within, England or Scotland or Wales...

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