HL Deb 28 November 1983 vol 445 cc441-2

3.8 p.m.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security (Lord Glenarthur)

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.—(Lord Glenarthur.)

Lord Bishopston

My Lords, as my noble friend Lord Stoddart of Swindon said on the earlier stages of the Bill, we welcome it, and I would not wish to impede its progress for more than a moment or two. We welcome it because it brings into effect some of the policy points for which the Opposition and others have been pressing, which ought of course to encourage greater development of the North Sea oil resources.

I want to make two points. First, to express the hope that this revenue, which we hope will increase in the immediate future, will provide the Government with sufficient funds not only to cut taxation, which is also desirable, but also to provide the means for reinvigorating British industry and getting some of our unemployed back to work. Secondly, I express a hope which I think the noble Lord may support, and that is while we pay tribute to all those who have invested in the North Sea and to the ingenuity of those who have designed the equipment there and enhanced the future, we ought also to pay a tribute to those who work in the difficult and arduous conditions, especially on oil rigs where conditions are particularly rigorous, and to give our thanks for the contribution which they are making to our country's future prosperity.

Lord Glenarthur

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for his general welcome to the Bill. Regarding the question of what the provision of oil does for the general state of the economy, I do not think I need be drawn any further on that now except to say that the whole economic climate is vastly affected by all that is done in the way of production of North Sea oil, and that we shall use it to best effect. I am also grateful for the noble Lord's generous tribute to those who work in the North Sea. I am sure those remarks will be welcomed by all who work in what I know from my own experience is a difficult and challenging environment, and one which has produced enormous rewards. I am grateful to the noble Lord for his comments.

On Question, Bill read a third time, and passed.