HC Deb 15 June 1959 vol 607 cc24-5
50. Mr. Darling

asked the Paymaster-General what is his estimate of the percentage increase in gas supplies between 1960 and 1965; and what proportions of this increase are expected to be derived from coal, oil and other sources such as methane, respectively.

Mr. Maudling

The total gas supplies are expected to increase by nearly 5 per cent. during this period. As it is expected that coal consumption by the industry will fall slightly during the period, the whole of this increase will be derived from oil and other sources.

Mr. Darling

Does this not suggest that there should be a review of the gas industry's programme in regard to the production of gas from both coal and oil? Is the Paymaster-General absolutely certain that the Gas Council is correct when it says that gas produced from oil is cheaper than gas produced from coal? Could we not have a deeper investigation into all the relative costs, and will he not agree that the whole question of fuel supplies in this country should be looked at again in the light of the estimates he has made and the answers he has given in reply to Questions today?

Mr. Maudling

My noble Friend is studying this particular problem in conjunction with the chairmen of the two nationalised industries concerned.

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