§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what efforts are being used by his Department to encourage the use of substitutes for sperm whale oil, indicating the various research or development projects that are under way, the names of the laboratories or other facilities that are engaged, and the sums that have been made available from public funds for this purpose.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The development of substitutes for sperm whale oil is ultimately a commercial decision for industry. The efforts of industry to replace the use of sperm oil are reflected in the fall of imports from 14,341 tonnes in 1971 to 4,269 tonnes in 1978.
The Department of Industry encourages the use of alternatives to sperm oil and suitable projects to develop further substitutes may qualify for assistance from the Department under the product and process development scheme.
Approaches have been made about the possibility of such assistance, but none has yet reached the stage where grants have been offered.