Oil Supplies

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th June 1979.

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Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford 12:00 am, 11th June 1979

The hon. Gentleman talked about complacency. He should perhaps reflect on the five years during which the affairs of this nation were in the charge of his right hon. Friends—including four months after the Iranian crisis was perfectly in prospectßžwhen very little was done to prepare the country for the difficulties we now face. If the hon. Gentleman talks about complacency, that is where it should lie. As to particular allocations for public services or public transport, I have explained that the public transport services use oil and are capable of saving oil without cutting essential services. Practically all parts of industry and the public services are capable of achieving these savings, and many have done so already. It is a perfectly sensible way forward, and is infinitely preferable to going for the full range of allocations and priorities—declaring all public transport operations to be good, whether or not they are needed or wasteful, and all private motorists and other down-graded priorities apparently put in the background. That seems to be a silly way of handling this present situation.