Orders of the Day — Energy Policy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th July 1973.

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Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton 12:00 am, 19th July 1973

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has made it clear that alternative sources must clearly be considered in the widest possible context of potential applications. That is why there is close liaison between the Department of the Environment and the Department of Trade and Industry on research and development. In particular we are involved in work which is being done by the Electricity Council and British Rail on the development of a sodium sulphur battery suitable, amongst other things, for powering road vehicles and providing auxiliary power for railway locomotives. The Department of the Environment is providing 50 per cent. of British Rail's costs for that project.

It is important to realise that a considerable amount of time, effort, thought and research is being directed towards the matters which the hon. Member for East Stirlingshire has raised.

In summing up what has been a useful and interesting debate, I refer to an article on oil in the Economist which was published on 14th July. The last sentence said: The sooner the phoney energy crisis is forgotten the better. We must not talk ourselves into a crisis. There are, of course, problems which are being dealt with by the Government, and that is the way in which we should continue.