HC Deb 14 June 1979 vol 968 cc304-5W
Mr. Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, in view of the reliance of many elderly people on paraffin oil as their only form of heating, if he will take steps to ensure that adequate supplies are available to them in the next heating season.

Mr. Gray

I am certainly concerned that stocks of paraffin be built up against next winter sufficient to avoid shortages for essential heating purposes, and to avoid a repetition of the position earlier in this year when some old people had difficulty in obtaining supplies. The industry knows of my concern, and stocks are being built up. I am also considering the effect of the current retail price controls over paraffin on incentives to suppliers to maintain supply. It remains necessary for all users of oil products to make reasonable economies in their use in order to ensure that essential needs can be met.