§ Mr. Alexander Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what consultation the Government have had with the British Gas Corporation regarding coal gasification as a source of future supply; if he will publish the results of such consultation; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Benn
No formal consultation has taken place. However my Department is in close touch with work at the Westfield Development Centre of the BGC. I am satisfied that excellent progress is being achieved there in the development of coal gasification technology with American sponsorship. This greatly strengthens the Corporation's long-term planning strategy should the large scale manufacture of substitute natural gas ever be required.