HC Deb 03 April 1919 vol 114 cc1368-9
46. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister if he will state what Departments deal with oil fuel supply; whether he is aware that the Cunard Company contemplate converting their ships to oil-burning vessels, and that there is a strong probability of the gradual conversion of the Mercantile Marine to oil-burning vessels; and whether, in view of the scarcity during the War, an opportunity will arise for a statement to be made and, if necessary, a discussion to take place in regard to future supplies and the boring operations of Messrs. S. Pearson and Son in this country?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

The Admiralty is the Depart- ment primarily concerned with oil fuel as a consumer, but the Petroleum Executive and other Departments deal with various aspects of oil policy. The Government have no detailed information as to the intentions of individual companies. The scarcity during the War was due rather to transport difficulties than to inadequate supplies of oil, and I do not think that a discussion at present would serve any useful purpose. Messrs. Pearsons' boring operations have not yet reached a decisive stage and their bearing on future supplies is, therefore, at present quite problematical.

Commander BELLAIRS

Will the right hon. Gentleman state what Department is responsible for Messrs. Pearson's boring operations?


It was the Ministry of Munitions, and I think it is now the Ministry of Supply.


Has any oil been found in England by these boring operations?


The hon. Member must put that question down. I cannot say now.