HC Deb 28 July 1913 vol 56 cc10-1

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will state to the House the specification of oil as to flash-point when oil fuel was first introduced into the Navy, and the specification now; whether he will state to the House if the flash-point has been altered considerably during the last twelve months; and, if so, whether he will state to the House to what extent?


The flash-point was fixed at 250 degrees Fahrenheit in 1902, but was reduced to 200 degrees Fahrenheit in 1903. In 1912–13, as a result of expert advice and experiment, it was decided to reduce the flash-point to 175 degrees Fahrenheit except in the case of light shale and distillate oils—for which a flash-point of 200 degrees Fahrenheit is still retained. I may mention that Lloyd's standard is 150 degrees Fahrenheit (close test), and, under certain precautions, an even lower flash is permitted to be used in merchant ships.

16. Mr. FELL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if the contracts to be made for the supply of oil will be made only with companies registered in England or with firms established in the United Kingdom?


In the great majority of cases the large producing companies, if not themselves registered in the United Kingdom, either have branch offices here or British firms acting as their agents. The Admiralty is in no way precluded, however, from making a contract direct with a foreign producing company whenever such a course is advantageous.


Would not great difficulties arise in the event of war if we had contracts with firms or companies in foreign countries?


Strange as it may seem, those aspects are borne in mind by the Admiralty.

17. Mr. FELL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if it is the intention of the Admiralty in purchasing or acquiring interests in oil fields to confine such purchases to the Colonies or to parts of the British Empire?


I have already stated to the House the general lines of Admiralty policy in regard to oil fuel supplies, and it is not in the public interest that the possible intentions of the Admiralty and its ultimate policy should be more precisely stated at the present time.