Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in the autumn edition of "Flame", the house magazine of the Southern Gas Board, the retiring chairman, while still chairman, made a totally unwarranted attack on the record and value of the nationalised gas industry? In the interests of staff morale and public confidence, will the Minister refute this in the clearest possible terms?
The remarks made by Mr. Welman after he had retired were unfortunate in the extreme. One would have thought that a man at the head of an industry who felt so strongly about a nationalised industry would have got out of it.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a fairly widespread feeling in southern England that the reason for the resignation of the chairman of Southern Gas was a shortage of resources? Could the Minister reassure the people of southern England, in the interests of staff morale and public confidence?
There were discussions between the Southern Gas Board and myself on a number of issues. It was not a question of plant capacity. The Southern Gas Board should have a margin of plant capacity of over 12 per cent. in winter conditions such as might occur in one winter in 20.