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Pool Petrol (Standard)

Volume 480: debated on Monday 13 November 1950

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will consider raising the standard of pool petrol to approximately 80 octane.

With the plant now available in sterling refineries, the standard of pool petrol could not be raised to 80 octane without a substantial increase in its lead content; I am advised that this would cause maintenance troubles with British engines. Moreover, the hon. Member's proposal would reduce the total output of motor spirit. For these reasons, as I think he will agree, it would be unwise to adopt it.

I agree with the last part of the right hon. Gentleman's reply, but is it not a fact that the standard of branded petrol before the war was approximately 80 octane? Would the Minister not agree that a great deal of wear is caused to engines of all kinds of motor vehicles by the low standard of present day petrol?

Before the war we had three grades of petrol—commercial 68 octane, No. 1 grade 75 octane and top grade 80 octane. I am advised that very few vehicles used 80 octane. Nearly all of them used the other grades. To raise our petrol even to 75 octane would mean a loss of output.