Oil is sold by the Petroleum Board to the Service Departments in two ways. Bulk supplies are bought at the port of arrival on the basis of c.i.f. costs plus a commission to the Board for its services in arranging ocean transport. Small scale supplies inside the United Kingdom are bought under the terms of a general Government contract with the Board which provides for a substantial rebate off the price authorised by the Government for general sales. I regret I am not able to depart from the established rule not to publish the terms on which the Government purchases goods from suppliers.
As the Government have purchased these goods from themselves, why should we not be told the margin between the price sold to themselves and the price at which they buy from themselves?