HC Deb 09 November 1970 vol 806 cc16-7
13. Mr. Barnett

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the report of the safety of North Sea gas.

Mr. John Davies

The Government welcomes this report, which is reassuring about the safety of natural gas. Work is well in hand to implement the main recommendations.

Mr. Barnett

I welcome the recommendations about safety and the conclusions, and I congratulate Professor Morton on his report. As it was March when the Committee was set up and July when it reported, is it not important that we should know when the recommendations are to be implemented, in particular the recommendation for a joint safety committee with regard to safety in the home? When is it likely that these recommendations will be implemented?

Mr. Davies

Five out of the 14 recommendations have already been implemented. Work on the rest is well advanced. I will communicate with the hon. Gentleman about progress on the recommendation to which he refers in particular.

Mr. Lane

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the Gas Council is taking sufficient steps to publicise the main lessons of this report and to avoid unnecessary anxiety among the millions of people whose homes have still to be converted to natural gas?

Mr. Davies

I am satisfied that the Gas Council and the gas boards are doing a great deal of work in this field. Wherever conversions are involved, they make a special point of making people aware of the problems involved and the safety precautions that are necessary, as revealed by the report.