§ Mr. Geoffrey Johnson Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what techniques for cleansing oil from the North Sea have been developed by his Department; and what consultations he has held on cleansing oil from the North Sea.
§ Mr. Duffy
Government responsibility for dealing with oil spillage at sea rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade, with whose Department my officials are in regular touch on all aspects of oil pollution clearance. My Department has not developed techniques exclusively for dealing with oil pollution in the North Sea, but the Royal Navy holds stocks of chemical dispersant and spraying equipment to deal with spillage within dockyard ports and is prepared to lend assistance, should it be required, in clearance operations at sea. My Department is also developing a mechanical recovery device for clearing oil from inshore waters.