asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make a statement about the progress which is being made in the extraction of oil from the North Sea.
I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 30th June by my right hon. Friend to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Taylor).—[Vol. 894, c. 303–4.]
What special contribution does the Minister hope will be made by BNOC to the speedy and efficient extraction of oil from the North Sea? What lessons will he learn from the history of other nationally-owned corporations which should be applied in the case of BNOC?
I am confident that BNOC will make a constructive contribution to the exploitation of our Continental Shelf resources. It will also secure for this country adequate control and a proper return on what is a very important national asset.
Will my hon. Friend inform the official Opposition that their continued sniping at old-established nationalised industries is all to no avail when we are discussing the coal industry? After all, we have spent millions of pounds to restore years and years of Conservative neglect of the coal industry, whereas oil is a virgin area and we are dealing with it in the right way by taking public control.
I agree with my hon. Friend that the Opposition are behaving true to form.