HC Deb 29 April 1974 vol 872 cc756-7
14. Sir A. Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will now introduce petrol rationing.

Mr. Strang

No. Sir.

Sir A. Meyer

I am glad to hear that. Will the hon. Gentleman take this opportunity of paying tribute to the coolness and foresight of my right hon. Friends in withstanding demands from the Labour Party on repeated occasions in November and December last year for the introduction of petrol rationing? Is he aware that had my right hon. Friend yielded to these panic demands we would have been landed with a vast army of bureaucrats and rural life would have been brought to a standstill?

Mr. Strang

I have noted the hon. Gentleman's comments.

Dr. Winstanley

Will the Minister at least reject utterly the suggestion recently made by Mr. Enoch Powell that the only sensible way to ration petrol is by price?

Mr. Strang

I would have thought that if there is no rationing of petrol—and we are all agreed that eventually we want to get rid of the present allocation system —we shall have a situation in which rationing is by price.