63. Marquess of HARTINGTON
asked the Secretary for Mines how many oil wells have been sunk and how much petroleum, in tens of thousands of barrels, has been produced in Great Britain since the passing of the Petroleum (Production) Act?
I would refer the Noble Lord to what I said on this subject during the Debate on the Vote for my Department on 24th July last. The first licences under the 1934 Act will, I anticipate, be issued during the next week or two. Until that has been done, the Noble Lord will be aware that no drilling could be undertaken.
No licence has yet been issued. It follows, therefore, that nothing has been produced.
Marquess of HARTINGTON
Is it not a fact that it was represented to the House that the object of the Act was to speed up the production of oil?
Indeed it is, but for the speeding-up of the production of oil it is necessary to issue the requisite licences to enable people to seek it. The earliest date for applications to be sent in was 17th June. The issue of a licence involves a great deal of time and labour, and it is a matter of congratulation that they are nearly ready as soon as this.