§ 8. Mr Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will now make a statement on his progress in improving safety in the North Sea, in the light of the Burgoyne committee report, and the Norwegian inquiry into the loss of the Alexander Kielland.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Energy (Mr. Hamish Gray)
I shall make a detailed statement on the Government's response to the Burgoyne committee report in opening the debate which we are due to have on 6 November. I am placing in the Libraries of both Houses a summary of the Government's response to all the recommendations in the report.
As regards the Alexander Keilland disaster, we still await the report of the Norwegian commission of inquiry. Its findings will be taken fully into account in developing our own offshore safety requirements.
§ Mr. Dalyell
As well as a response in the Library to the recommendations, will the Minister place in the Library a response to the note of dissent by Mr. Lyons and Mr. Miller, the trade union representatives on Burgoyne, who argued very convincingly that the health and safety aspects should not be vested in the sponsoring Department?
§ Mr. Greville Janner
Will the Minister reply to the question posed by my hon. Friend? Does he not feel that it is wrong that the Department of Energy should retain its supervision over offshore oil in this respect? It is the only Government Department to do so. All other Government Departments have had their powers vested in the Health and Safety Commission.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Occasionally—in fact very occasionally—I call an hon. Member to ask a second supplementary question. Too often it is a Minister from the Front Bench. Today I am calling an hon. Member from the Back Bench.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Will the Minister put into the Library, before the debate on Thursday, a response to the note of dissent by Mr. Lyons and Mr. Miller, the trade union representatives, who argued that the health and safety aspects should not be vested in the sponsoring Department? This is a matter of great consequence.