HC Deb 07 July 1952 vol 503 c877
10. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power when he expects to allow branded petrol to be once again on sale to the public.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

The oil companies have asked the Government to reconsider this matter. It involves questions not only of supply, but also of the general balance of payments, and I am not able to make any statement at present.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Is the Minister aware that we are almost the only civilised country in the world which gives the consumer no opportunity of buying better petrol and thus getting a greater mileage per gallon?

Mr. Lloyd

I am very anxious that the best qualities of petrol should once again be on sale in this country as soon as possible, but I would not take any step which would injure the country in its balance of payments in the present difficult situation.

Mr. Beswick

Would not the Minister agree that, at the moment, we are to some extent getting the worst of both worlds? Would not he insist that we not only retain the branded pool petrol, but also that we revert to the pool system of distribution, with its attendant economies?

Mr. Lloyd

That is another question.