HC Deb 03 December 1973 vol 865 cc908-9
27. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements are being made to maintain supplies of fuel to air services to Orkney and Shetland.

Mr. Onslow

The system of allocation to suppliers is intended to make all possible economies while maintaining an adequate service to the public. I am at present reviewing the question of establishing priorities within the overall allocation to the industry, and am well aware of the importance of maintaining essential communications to Orkney and Shetland as well as to other island communities.

Mr. Grimond

Is the Minister aware that it is important not only to maintain communications to Orkney and Shetland but to provide for enormously expanded demand for oil to go to the oil rigs? At present the allocation appears to be based on a 10 per cent. reduction on last year's figures. This will be impossible to carry out if the expanded demand for oil and for the trade of Orkney and Shetland is to be met? Will the hon. Gentleman look into this matter?

Mr. Onslow

I am happy to be able to tell the right hon. Gentleman that the servicing of oil rigs is already accepted as a priority case, as also are air ambulances, and this will, therefore, exempt them from the 10 per cent. cut-back.

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