Oil and Petrol Prices (Service Departments)

Oral Answers to Questions — Fuel and Power – in the House of Commons on 20th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether the Petroleum Board sell oil and petrol to the Fighting Services; and what is the difference between the price charged by it and the price paid by it to the Government when purchasing oil delivered under Lease-Lend?

Mr. Lloyd:

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.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

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?

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Cannot my hon. Friend say what the margin is, without disclosing the price?

Mr. Lloyd:

That would be in conflict with the general rule I have mentioned.