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PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
This work, first published in 1898, has hitherto dealt with the law relating to Electric Lighting only. Since that time rapid developments have been made in the application of electrical energy to the working of “Tube" and other Railways, Tramways and Light Railways, and to the supply of Power. In preparing this Third Edition opportunity has been taken to extend the scope of the work so as to embrace Traction and Power.
Part I. contains a general view of the Legislation of the last twenty years on the subject of Electric Lighting. This is intended to serve as a guide to the more detailed consideration of the various Acts of Parliament, and the practice which has grown up round them.
Part II. brings together the various Electric Lighting Acts from 1882 to 1902; the Board of Trade Rules with respect to applications for Provisional Orders for Electric Lighting; and the Regulations made by the Board of Trade, with the authority of Parliament, for securing the safety of the public and for insuring a proper and sufficient supply of electrical energy for lighting purposes. A separate chapter has been introduced under the heading of “ County of London,” so as to bring together many important matters, such as the points in which a County of London Provisional Order differs from other Provisional Orders, the question of competition and overlapping of areas of supply in the County of London, the establishment of Testing Stations by the London County Council, the protection of theatres and places of public resort from fire, the London Overhead Wires Act, 1891, and the impending revision of boundaries consequent upon the passing of the London Government Act, 1899, and the Orders in Council authorised by and made under the provisions of that Act.
Part III. deals with Leakage and Electrolysis, Traction and Power. In regard to Leakage and alleged consequent damage by electrolytic action, Parliament and the Board of Trade have taken careful steps to provide against damage being so caused—the former by the appointment of a Joint Committee of both Houses, and the latter by the revision from time to time, as occasion has required, of the “Model Clause,” originally recommended by the Joint Committee, and now inserted in all Acts and Orders relating to the use of electrical energy, except in those cases where the same purpose is effected by other means, as to which see post, p. 368. Nevertheless, during the last three Sessions of Parliament opponents have frequently challenged the sufficiency of the protection afforded. In some instances they have been successful in obtaining some further protection, and in others it has been held that the protection of the Model Clause is sufficient. In the chapter on this subject the various steps taken by Parliament and by the Board of Trade, the various decisions of Private Bill Committees, and all precedents, are collected down to the end of the last Session of Parliament.
The systems which generally come under consideration of working Tramways and Light Railways by electrical power are three—viz., the overhead trolley system, the underground conduit system, and the surface contact system. Of these the first is that chiefly in use. The Regulations which the Board of Trade have prescribed in regard to each of these systems will be found in their places.
The number of “Tube" and other Railways authorised to be worked by electricity is rapidly increasing. From a list which appears at p. 403, there are at least twentynine. Many others are in contemplation. In regard to the Tube Railways the powers usually conferred by Parliament are dealt with, including the power of compulsorily taking land and easements under private land and public streets, and the obligation—for the first time introduced in the Session of 1902 in the case of new lines—to make compensation for injuriously affecting any land, house, or building, by reason of the working of the railway; provided the claim be made within two years from the opening of the railway. A form of Board of Trade Regulations applicable to Tube Railways is inserted.
As to the Power Acts, the number passed into law down to the last Session of Parliament is fifteen. Besides these, there are many private Acts authorising electric lighting or electric traction which also specially authorise the supply of power. Indeed, as pointed out (see post, p. 88) by the late Sir Courtenay Boyle, K.C.B., in his evidence before the Committee on Municipal Trading in 1900, the authority conferred by a Provisional Order in the ordinary form to supply electrical energy for
private purposes ” includes the supply of power. The Power Acts, specially so-called, are substantially identical in form, but differ much in details.
To Mr. Harry Booth, of the Board of Trade, the author has to express his great indebtedness on the occasion of this edition, as in the case of the former editions, for information kindly afforded from time to time in connection with Electric Lighting and Power.
The author's acknowledgments are also due to Mr. P. H. Thomas, I.S.O., of the Board of Trade, for his kindness in supplying information in regard to the Regulations and requirements of the Board of Trade in connection with Electric Traction.
J. SHIRESS WILL.
2, GARDEN COURT, TEMPLE, E.C.,