Energy Supplies

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian 12:00, 1 December 1969

asked the Minister of Technology if he is satisfied that the change of regime in Libya will not endanger energy supplies to this country; if he will seek to ensure that security of supply is given a higher priority than cheapness; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham

The recent change of regime in Libya has not affected oil supplies to this country in any way and 1 have noted the new regime's undertaking to honour all oil concessions. The Government's fuel policy pays full attention to security of supply; diversification of sources is reducing the risk of a shortfall in supplies to the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

But would not my right hon. Friend agree that such a situation as exists in Libya is the cause of great anxiety when we depend so much on energy supplies outwith this country? How long has the contract to run with which we were saddled by hon. Gentlemen opposite for very expensive gas from Libya?

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham

I cannot give my hon. Friend offhand that last statistic, but I can understand his zeal for wanting us to take into account—as we do—the usefulness of domestic supplies of energy, but I cannot cut off oil supplies. What I can do is to assure my hon. Friend that we are taking every step to ensure our security in respect of oil supplies.