HC Deb 21 February 1977 vol 926 cc1017-8
8. Mr. Macfarlane

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether his Department has yet identified the likely subcrisis to which the Minister of State referred during the passage of the Energy Bill[Lords]last year; and, if so, whether he plans to inform the interested parties.

Dr. J. Dickson Mabon

As I explained in Standing Committee, it would be very difficult to try to define precisely in advance every type of situation that might give rise to the use of the permanent price control power in the Energy Act.

Mr. Macfarlane

Is the Minister aware that many people involved in the non-nationalised sector of the United Kingdom energy arena were considerably concerned at the frequent references to sub-crisis which the Minister made during the passage of the Bill and the fact that since then his Department has not come clean in giving a precise definition of what might trigger off the price control mechanism?

Dr. Mabon

It is very difficult to desscribe such a situation, but one can recognise it when one sees it.