Gas Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Power – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 7th November 1967

asked the Minister of Power whether he will make a statement on the achievements of the gas industry under nationalisation.

Photo of Mr Richard Marsh Mr Richard Marsh , Greenwich

These are obvious to all and my hon. Friend will have seen the area boards' and the Gas Council's annual reports which are presented to Parliament.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

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?

Photo of Mr Richard Marsh Mr Richard Marsh , Greenwich

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.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

asked the Minister of Power whether he is satisfied that the gas industry has the necessary resources to provide uninterrupted supplies of gas during the coming winter; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Richard Marsh Mr Richard Marsh , Greenwich

Plant capacity should be quite adequate to meet demand and oil feedstock supplies have improved considerably, though still not yet back to normal.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

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?

Photo of Mr Richard Marsh Mr Richard Marsh , Greenwich

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.