Minerals Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1970.

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Photo of Alan Williams Alan Williams , Swansea West 12:00 am, 13th July 1970

asked the Minister of Technology if he will introduce legislation relating to mineral rights.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Hexham

I am fully aware of the difficulties encountered in gaining access to land to explore for and to exploit minerals. I am considering the need for legislation to deal with these problems.

Photo of Alan Williams Alan Williams , Swansea West

I am sure the Minister will accept that that is welcome information. Is he aware that it is a matter of considerable importance that we should press on with this as quickly as possible? We prepared much of the work for the legislation and the minerals industry now desperately needs the removal of these final impediments.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Hexham

I appreciate that a great deal of work has been done on this and the mining companies are keen to start work to our economic advantage.

Photo of Alan Williams Alan Williams , Swansea West

asked the Minister of Technology if he will hold consultations with the minerals industry to consider the relative advantages or disadvantages for that industry of investment grants rather than investment allowances.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Hexham

I am reviewing the future of investment grants, including the implications for the mineral industry.

Photo of Alan Williams Alan Williams , Swansea West

The Minister referred just now to work to our advantage as a nation. Does he realise that if he were to abandon the investment grant system the Yorkshire potash scheme, which could be worth between £30 million and £40 million in import savings, could fail?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Hexham

I appreciate the importance of mineral development, but the question whether we have investment grants or investment allowances or tax reductions must be considered in the wider context.