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Oil Reserves (Storage)

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1951

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6.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is satisfied there are in reserve adequate stocks of oil for the Royal Navy and that the storage depots at home and overseas are adequately dispersed and protected against modern forms of air attack and the possibility of sabotage.

As stated in the recent debate on the Navy Estimates, provision is being made for stockpiling of oil, and all possible measures are being taken to bring reserves up to the level required under the re-armament programme. Projects are in hand for providing increased storage accommodation and for giving additional protection to oil storage from all forms of enemy activity.

In view of the very disquieting oil situation in the Middle East will the Navy see that alternative sources of supply are provided? Are modern methods of oil storage, such as underwater storage, being considered, as being more adequate methods of protection than those adopted in the past?

We are constantly keeping under review the question of oil supplies. In answer to the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary, that matter also is under active consideration.

Would the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the Board of Admiralty, under several Governments, have had a fine record in their efforts to accumulate large oil supplies, which are not only vital for the Navy, but are the main support of the whole petroleum situation of the United Kingdom, and that they deserve the support of all sections of the House?