Orders of the Day — Fuel and Electricity (Control) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th November 1973.

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Photo of Mr Frank McElhone Mr Frank McElhone , Glasgow Gorbals 12:00 am, 26th November 1973

I am obliged to my hon. Friend. That makes the position even more serious. It ill becomes the Government to use the miners as a whipping boy for the failure of their phase 3 policy, when we read about Lord Samuel leaving his office £1½ million richer as a result of the Government policies. When a miner learns that, to him the turning down of a justified claim for an increase in his wages must seem unfair and unjust, and in my opinion it is obscene.

We heard good speeches from my right hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) and my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell). It was said that we should concentrate a great deal more on public transport. We are paying the price for the severe cuts made by Lord Beeching.

The fuel crisis will not disappear even if we settle the miners' dispute at an early date, because one thing that has come through the debate today is that we must sit down and work out an energy policy to ensure that we do not face a similar crisis year after year.