HC Deb 12 March 1968 vol 760 cc1167-8
32. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Power if the White Paper on Fuel Policy, Command Paper No. 3438, still represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Marsh

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Palmer

In view of that reply, will my right hon. Friend do something to dispel the air of confusion which still exists around this matter? At the moment there appear to be as many fuel policies as there are separate chairmen of the nationalised fuel industries.

Mr. Marsh

There is only one as far as the Government are concerned.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there is an increasing need for himself and the Minister of Technology to come to some final conclusion about the Report of the Select Committee on this matter, and that, as long as their decision is pending, it is inevitable that everyone will go in different directions?

Mr. Marsh

I do not think that the Select Committee's Report is in conflict with the White Paper on Fuel Policy. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology and I are examining the Report, which is a very large and important document, and we hope to come to the House fairly soon with our conclusions.

Mrs. Thatcher

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is time we debated the White Paper, which he has accepted as policy? Will he make representations to the Leader of the House to the effect that he thinks it urgent that the House should debate the White Paper soon?

Mr. Marsh

We have debated the White Paper on a number of occasions both in relation to the Coal Industry Act and to the winter Supplementary Estimates. I am sure that it will be possible to make some arrangements through the usual channels.

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