HC Deb 26 February 1936 vol 309 c449
47. Mr. MACLAY

asked the Prime Minister in view of the large turnover from coal fuel to oil fuel in transport and industry, what authority is responsible for estimating the probable requirements and reserves of fuel oil necessary for civil, military, and naval use in this country in the event of war; and whether the authority is a central co-ordinating one in touch with all the probable increased demands for oil and petrol likely to arise instantly in the event of war, especially from industrial users?


There is a standing Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence, on which all the Service as well as -the Civil Departments concerned are represented, which is the central co-ordinating authority and keeps regularly under review the matters referred to by the hon. Member.


In view of the fact that much of our oil supplies come in by seaborne tanks, will the Prime Minister assure himself, in view of the importance of oil supplies to this country, that those who are responsible for these calculations and estimates are fully alive to the fact that tank tonnage is more vulnerable than any other sea-going vessels to the new form of attack from the air and to underwater attack, and will he assure himself that they arc fully alive to the fact that any calculations based on the experience of losses in the last war are very liable to be wrong?


I can assure my hon. Friend that there is represented on this body a very large amount of expert knowledge, and that they are in very close and constant touch with the whole oil situation.