§ 11. Mr. Warbey
asked the Minister of Power what sums have been, or will be, expended on the purchase of oil for stocking purposes in each of the financial years 1958–59 and 1959–60.
§ 13. Mr. Wainwright
asked the Minister of Power the separate amounts of crude oil and fuel oil which are stored in this country by Her Majesty's Government; the value of this oil; the cost of storage; and where the storage places are situated.
§ Mr. Warbey
Is the Minister aware that it is really nonsense to suggest that the defence of the country would be harmed in any way if the Government were to disclose exactly how much they are paying to the oil companies for this oil? Are we not entitled to know just how much more help the Government are giving to the oil industry than to the coal industry?
§ Mr. Wainwright
Would the right hon. Gentleman explain to the House why it is that the Government of the day support private industry by spending £7.7 million a year when we have a nationalised industry which has huge stocks of coal and is made responsible for its own stocking? Would the right hon. 845 Gentleman see to it that the Government are also responsible for the stocking of coal?
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power (Mr. J. C. George)
Seven million tons. During the whole period home production exceeded inland consumption.
§ Mr. George
If the hon. Gentleman looks up the figures of production at home he will see that a very large increase took place in 1953. By 1958 annual production had increased by a further 2 million tons. I would repeat that in the whole period home production has exceeded demand.
§ Mr. George
None, Sir. Our exports, including bunkers, supplied to oceangoing ships exceeded imports by about 1 million tons valued at about £6 million.