asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration he is giving to the suggestions put forward to him by Professor John Erickson of the University of Edinburgh and Professor Alan Thomson of Heriot-Watt for a North Sea Environment Command, in which the Royal Navy would assume certain responsibilities for pollution control, diving and fire fighting on oil rigs in the North Sea.
As my hon. Friend knows, there has been full and continuous discussion about North Sea tasks both within Government and with interested individuals and organisations. This discussion, together with detailed study, resulted in the announcement by my hon. Friend on 11th February about the protection of our offshore interests.