HC Deb 29 April 1969 vol 782 cc1138-9
35. Mr. Eadie

asked the Minister of Power what consideration he has given to the future termination of concessions for the exploration of the North Sea energy potential; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mason

I have no power to terminate existing concessions, unless there is a breach of the licence conditions, but after six years each licensee is required to surrender not less than half the area of each licence. No decision has yet been taken about the terms and conditions on which surrendered areas may be re-licensed.

Mr. Eadie

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a body of opinion in the country is anxious about the outcome and that the Labour Party has a policy in relation to the subject? Do the Government propose to implement Labour Party policy?

Mr. Mason

I suppose that my hon. Friend is referring to the North Sea Gas Study Group—for example, the suggestion for a National Hydrocarbons Corporation. As the House has been informed, this is under consideration.