HC Deb 27 November 1962 vol 668 c203
Q3. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister if he will appoint a Minister responsible for development underneath the sea within British territorial waters.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Dalyell

In the light of the remarkable breaks through in marine science, is not the Prime Minister prepared to look into the future and, so to speak, beyond his own nose, and recognise that here is a vast potential for British exploitation in a completely new sphere of industry? In particular, will not he consider the possible manufacture of marine equipment for the new sciences in areas such as the north-east of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland?

The Prime Minister

This is not a question of looking beyond one's own nose; it is a question of looking three miles under the sea. There is a variety of minerals, all of which are exploited by the proper authorities. For instance, coal is exploited by the Coal Board—which seems to be a sensible way of proceeding—oil and natural gas are administered through the Ministry of Power, and other products, like sand and gravel, are operated by the Crown Estate Commissioners. I do not think that it would really help to have a single Minister in charge of these very varied methods of exploiting mineral power.

Sir J. Duncan

Would it not be enough to put the Minister of Agriculture into a skin-diver's suit?

The Prime Minister

We must not impose undue strains upon Ministers.

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