Prayers

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th April 1976.

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[MR. SPEAKER in the Chair]

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Central

I meant "justified any such expenditure" by the companies concerned. Of course, no circumstances justify corruption, and, if I may say so, the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question was a work of supererogation.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

Will my right hon. Friend take it that those of us who represent constituencies where a good deal of the work is being done on oil-related ventures have increasing confidence in the way in which the State is handling the oil companies and in the relationship which they have established, but will he take somewhat further and a little more seriously the question raised by the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. Henderson) and reflect on whether the time has come for the Government to spell out in some detail, perhaps in a White Paper, just how malleable and under what degree of mercy an independent Scottish Government would be at the hands of these oil companies? [Laughter.] It is not a laughing matter. They would be puppets

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Central

It is with regret that I have to exercise self-denial by telling my hon. Friend that his very pertinent question should correctly be addressed not to me but to the Lord President.