§ 16. Mr. Sproat
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on his most recent consultations with the European Commission.
§ Mr. John Smith
My right hon. Friend met the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Education on 4th 20 March to discuss the Commission's latest proposals for collaboration on energy research.
§ Mr. Sproat
Can the hon. Gentleman confirm that when his right hon. Friend met the Commission it confirmed that in no way whatsover does membership of the EEC prevent us from controlling our own rate of depletion of North Sea oil, that we alone and not the EEC decide where we can sell our oil and that in no way whatsoever are we prevented from selling it to the EEC or the rest of the world at a price fixed by us alone? Will he communicate those facts to his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry, who continues to distort the truth?
§ Mr. Smith
I doubt whether my right hon. Friend discussed those matters with the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Education. It does not appear likely that that would be the content of the conversation. I have given answers to most of the detailed points made by the hon. Gentleman and it is open to the House to read the conclusions arrived at and published by the Government in their White Paper.