HC Deb 25 July 1949 vol 467 cc1809-10
43. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what were the total quantities of petrol consumed by Government Departments during the years 1945, 1946, 1947, and 1948; and what were the principal reasons for any considerable changes in these totals.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Gaitskell)

As the answer to the first part of the Question contains a number of figures, I will circulate the details in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The amount of petrol consumed by Government Departments in private cars between 1945 and 1948 decreased by over 5,000 tons a year as a result of various measures of economy. On the other hand, the amount of petrol used by Government Departments in commercial and similar vehicles increased during the same period by 27,000 tons. This was due chiefly to the restoration of their pre-war services by the Post Office, and to special building operations undertaken by the Ministry of Works.

Mr. Erroll

In view of the announcement made by the Minister a few months ago that there was to be a special economy drive in the consumption of petrol by Government Departments, may I ask how he explains the considerable increase that has taken place?

Mr. Gaitskell

So far as I remember, it was never suggested that the postal services should be cut.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Where did the right hon. Gentleman get this extraordinary idea that the pre-war postal services have been restored?

Mr. Gaitskell

In comparison with the postal services prevailing in 1945, there has been a very considerable improvement.

Following is the information:

1945 1946 1947 1948
Tons Tons Tons Tons
Private Cars 38,092 33,192 31,523 32,572
Other than Private Cars. 60,755 64,011 79,904 88,333
Total 98,847 97,203 111,427 120,905

Forward to