asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he has yet completed his inquiries into the state of the Northern Ireland gas industry; and what steps he now intends to take to provide a supply of North Sea gas to Northern Ireland;(2) what steps he now intends to take to extend the supply of North Sea gas to Northern Ireland.
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 6th November 1978] gave the following information:I and my officials are fully aware of the problems of the gas industry in Northern Ireland. But decisions affecting the gas industry cannot be taken in isolation from their fundamental implications for other energy industries in the Province. My officials, in close collaboration with the Department of Energy and others, are examining urgently the options for dealing with Northern Ireland's energy needs as a whole. Those concerned will be fully consulted before final decisions are taken.