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Volume 884: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish the conclusions of the working parties set up to examine the technical and economic factors relating to the use of methanol and its homologues as constituents of blends of petrol.

It is my right hon. Friend's intention to publish the report and conclusions of the technical working party in the near future. The working party on the supply of methanol in its conclusions advised that it would not be possible to reduce the cost to the United Kingdom of imported oil by importing methanol. Significant supplies could not be made available before 1979 and by then the United Kingdom would be approaching self-sufficiency in oil. In the circumstances, intervention by the Government to increase the supply or consumption of methanol in the road fuel market cannot be justified.My right hon Friend does not propose to publish this report in view of the confidential nature of the information supplied to it by the companies represented on it.