§ Mr. John Smith
Since my right hon. Friend the previous Secretary of State's policy statement of 6th December 1974—[Vol. 882, c. 646–8.)—the Government have taken powers in the Petroleum and Submarine Pipe-lines Act that will enable control to be exercised over the rate of depletion of Britain's offshore oil. These powers will be used as and when they are needed to maximise the long-term benefit to the nation and in accordance with the guidelines in my right hon. Friend's policy statement. It continues to be the Government's aim to ensure a rapid build-up of Continental Shelf oil-production to eliminate net imports.