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Oeec (Report)

Volume 649: debated on Monday 13 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Power, to what extent the recommendations of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation's Report, entitled Towards a New Energy Pattern in Europe, have been adopted by Her Majesty's Government.

This valuable report by experts was intended to give to member Governments general guidance rather than specific recommendations for action. I think the policy of Her Majesty's Government is fully consistent with the views expressed in it.

Is the Minister aware that the report very much under-estimates the social responsibilities of the fuel industry and is also very weak on the side of conserving energy and coal for future use, and is this to be the policy of Her Majesty's Government?

In so far as the report deals with the policy of Her Majesty's Government, we are in line with it. It recommended that the paramount consideration should be a plentiful supply of low cost energy with freedom of choice for the consumer, and it also said about coal:

"The future market will depend primarily on the possibility of producing coal at a competitive price."