63. Air-Commodore Harvey
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps he has taken to purchase the 30 million gallons supply of petrol from the sterling area, payable in non-dollar convertible sterling, which was refused by the Australian Government.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
Petrol is imported by private companies and is not purchased by the Government. I understand that the petrol in question was offered not from the sterling area, but from Italian sources; my Department has already drawn the attention of the main importers to the report that these supplies are available. The hon. and gallant Member will appreciate that in their commercial transactions, the importers must take into account the price and the quality of any oil which is offered to them.