Oil from Coal (Falmouth Committee's Recommendations).

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence. – in the House of Commons on 18th May 1938.

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Photo of Mr Ralph Assheton Mr Ralph Assheton , Rushcliffe

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to announce the Government's decision on the recommendations of the Falmouth Committee?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

His Majesty's Government have decided to accept the recommendations contained in the published report of the Falmouth Committee. Provision is accordingly being made in the Finance Bill to give effect to the recommendation for the extension for a period of 12 years of a guaranteed preference of 8d. per gallon on home-produced motor spirit and diesel oil for use in road vehicles, subject to the adjustments recommended by the Committee. The acceptance of the recommendation concerning an extension of the scope of the tests on low-temperature carbonisation plants carried out by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is subject to consideration of the practicable limits to which such tests can be carried.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

Before the Government make up their minds finally about the major issues raised in this report, will there be an opportunity for a discussion of the matter in this House; and may I ask the right hon. Gentleman to bear in mind that there is a large measure of opinion in the country that the conclusions in the Falmouth Committee's report were based upon evidence which was far too narrow and was heard in private, and that others had not an opportunity of being heard?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

As to the general question of a further discussion, I would prefer that to be put down and, no doubt, it could be considered. I think the hon. Gentleman will see that the announcement which I have made as to the provisions which will be included in the Finance Bill is one that ought to be very sympathetically received by those interested in British coal.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

Will the Government refrain from making up their minds finally to accept these conclusions on the larger issues until there has been a discussion?

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Will the Resolution cover motor fuels made in this country from materials other than coal?

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

No, Sir. That was not what the Falmouth Committee recommended.