3 Mr. DOYLE
asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress is being made in developing the oil resources of the country; what has been the average increase of output during the last three months; and if it is contemplated to open up new wells?
§ The ADDITIONAL PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY of the DEPARTMENT of OVERSEAS TRADE (Lieut.-Colonel Sir Hamar Greenwood)
The operations which H. M. Government have been carrying out in Derbyshire and other parts of the United Kingdom have been making progress which has been necessarily slow of late on account of the depth to which the wells have attained. While oil has so far been met with in quantity only in one well, it has been proved that deposits of oil do actually exist, and there is every encouragement to continue the work. There has been no increase in output during the last three months. Further developments cannot be undertaken pending the passage of legislation dealing with the question of oil rights in the country. Licences to bore for petroleum have been granted to two companies.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
The exact amount produced from the wells up to the present is 2,300 barrels, which are in storage. The oil is still flowing.
§ Mr G. LAMBERT
Is the development now being hold up because legislation is required to enable it to be proceeded with?
Lieut.-Colonel A. MURRAY
Why is the Department of Overseas Trade responsible for the oil of this country?
§ Sir H GREENWOOD
The Department of Overseas Trade is not responsible, but I am the Minister for Petroleum Affairs.