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

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's opening remarks. Of course, he should realise that tourism would be precisely the category which would get it in the neck if Labour Members were allowed to go for their priorities.

The truth is that tourism is a vital industry in our country. While it too must make sacrifices, and to some extent cut down, it must be wrong to suggest that the whole of this industry should be downgraded in favour of some declared essential services which Labour Members have in their minds. That is what they have been arguing, and those are the consequences of the decisions that they are trying to press upon the British people. I am, therefore, grateful to my hon. Friend.

There are certain areas where tourism demands are creating problems. The oil companies have been asked to look at them and are doing so. They are certainly trying to maintain last year's allocations, which are deliberately geared up for the high season in the tourist resorts, and, if possible, to improve on them. In the particular areas where there are particular problems, we are attending to them. That is probably a better deal than they would hope to get from the kind of recipes that have been advanced by Labour Members this afternoon.