HC Deb 17 June 1974 vol 875 cc22-3
29. Mr. Leadbitter

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will now publish a White Paper on energy supplies and fuel policy.

Mr. Varley

I am reviewing energy problems and intend to keep the House in touch with my thinking on them, but I have no immediate proposals for publishing a White Paper.

Mr. Leadbitter

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that we are very much with him in the review that he is undertaking? If he has no immediate proposals, will he tell the House whether eventually, after the review, it is his intention to produce a White Paper?

Mr. Varley

I shall certainly consider that matter.

Mr. Grimond

If the Minister does produce a White Paper, will it cover all types of energy supply, and will it give some indication of the amount of resources which are required to get the different types of energy?

Mr. Varley

If I eventually publish a White Paper I would hope that it would contain that kind of information. But I hope that the House will realise that over the next few weeks I intend to make major statements about North Sea oil and gas policy and nuclear reactor policy, and it is intended to publish the interim report of the tripartite examination tomorrow.

Mr. Jessel

What weight will the Secretary of State give to the possible future strategic threat to this country's oil supplies arising from the growth in the size of the Russian Navy in relation to the idea of getting more oil from the North Sea?

Mr. Varley

That is a question for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, but the hon. Gentleman can rest assured that security of supplies, in the sense that he has outlined it, is a matter which the Government have considered.