HC Deb 09 July 1968 vol 768 cc189-90
16. Mr. Emery

asked the Minister of Power what forecast of the level of domestic gas prices was used as a basis for the estimates of gas consumption in 1971 and 1975, respectively, contained in the Fuel Policy White Paper.

Mr. Freeson

The White Paper estimates took into account likely movement of gas prices in relation to competing fuels, not absolute levels.

Mr. Emery

If we do not have the financial objectives and a statement about the fuel duty until the end of the year, how is it possible to form a long-term judgment of the financial position of the industry?

Mr. Freeson

I suggest that the hon. Gentleman re-reads the excellent publications which have been produced by the gas industry and the appropriate sections of the White Paper.

Mr. Eadie

Is my hon. Friend aware of the feeling in the country that the gas consumer has been conned over the question of gas prices? Will he look into the high-powered advertising that goes on and which is believed by some of us to have deceived gas consumers?

Mr. Freeson

The expenditure of the gas industry, as of the other nationalised industries, on advertising is only a small proportion of its turnover. In fact, there is every reason to believe that ultimately, when natural gas comes fully on stream, there will be an impact on price levels for the consumer.

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