HC Deb 21 January 1937 vol 319 c337
39. Mr. Simmonds

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the recent increase of one halfpenny per gallon on home-produced as well as imported petrol is being accompanied by an equal reduction in the amount of subsidy payable by His Majesty's Government?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

No subsidy is payable in this connection, but my hon. Friend may have in mind the provisions of the British Hydrocarbon Oils Production Act, 1934, under which, subject to certain limitations, light hydrocarbon oils manufactured in the United Kingdom from indigenous materials are guaranteed a preference of not less than 4d. per gallon until 31st March, 1944. These arrangements are not affected by increases or decreases in the price of petrol.

Mr. Simmonds

Does that mean that every time there is an increase in the cost of imported petrol, with a consequent rise in the combine prices in this country, the increase in price will be equivalent to profit to the home-producing companies?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

The hon. Member should study the provisions of the Act. I can hardly be expected at Question Time to explain all its provisions. His original question related to a subsidy, and I have pointed out that a subsidy is not payable.