23. Dr. Bennett
asked the President of the Board of Trade on what date the licence was issued for the Regent Oil Company or Caltex Company to construct a refinery at Warsash; for what maximum period this licence remains valid before plans are presented; and what progress is being made towards some final definite plan of development for this area.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
I assume that my hon. Friend refers to the Industrial Development Certificate which was issued on 25th June, 1951. This remained valid for 12 months. The company have not applied for another certificate, but I am informed that they have been proceeding with the purchase of land on the site.
Apart altogether from the pros and cons of this scheme, which I am satisfied can be ventilated adequately later, is my right hon. Friend aware of the uncertainty which has been created by the failure to go forward with this scheme to any extent even although the land has been provisionally acquired? Is he further aware that if this is to be put in cold storage indefinitely houses and schools cannot be built and a great deal of hardship will be inflicted locally?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
All the responsibility that I have is for the issue of an Industrial Development Certificate. I have issued such a certificate which has now lapsed because the scheme has not gone forward, but if any further application is made I shall be very happy to consider it.