HC Deb 08 March 1966 vol 725 c1894
40. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Power if he will include in the proposed legislation to extend the manufacturing powers of the nationalised industries, provisions to enable the coal, electricity and gas industries to own and operate oil refineries, in order to assist their own finances and to provide the extra home refining capacity now needed according to the White Paper on Fuel Policy. Command Paper No. 2798.

Mr. Frederick Lee

I would invite my hon. Friend to await the terms of the proposed legislation. United Kingdom refining capacity, however, as the White Paper notes, should be adequate as new capacity planned by the oil industry comes on stream.

Mr. Palmer

Apart from the merit and advantage of extending public ownership on European lines to the oil industry, is there not something to be said for breaking down the rigid demarcation lines between the separate fuel industries?

Mr. Lee

As my hon. Friend knows, the oil industry is a private industry. If he looks at some of the advantages that we get in the prices of our own oil inland, he will see that a great deal of advantage comes to our economy from the work of the oil companies.

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