HC Deb 25 June 1975 vol 894 cc442-3
33. Mr. Rost

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if EEC energy policy will be discussed at the next Heads of State meeting.

Mr. Hattersley

The agenda for the meeting has not been settled, but I expect that energy matters will be discussed.

Mr. Rost

Have the Government satisfied our European partners that the British National Oil Corporation, as it is proposed to be established under the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-Lines Bill, will in no way contravene the rules on fair trading and unsubsidised competition? If so, how?

Mr. Hattersley

Certainly we have satisfied our partners. I assume that we have done so by the force and logic of our argument.

Mr. Watt

At the meeting will the right hon. Gentleman confirm this country's determination that the oil to be taken from the Scottish sector of the North Sea will be refined in the United Kingdom, and will not be shipped or piped straight to our EEC partners?

Mr. Hattersley

Such questions are more appropriate for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy, but I must remind the hon. Gentleman that our policy on the national control of oil—a policy which was shared by the previous Government—has been accepted—[Interruption.] The British national policy on British oil was accepted by our predecessors when they were in Government, and it is in all ways consistent with our membership of the Community.