§ The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Mr. Henry Brooke)
I assume that the hon. Member refers to a letter dated 1st May from the solicitors representing this firm, saying that they had been instructed to withdraw the application for planning permission to build a refinery on Southampton Water. In reply, the solicitors were informed that the local inquiry which I had arranged for 12th May was accordingly cancelled.
§ Dr. King
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is now clear that Caltex has merely postponed and not abandoned this idea of building a refinery? As that refinery can be of great economic value to the country and great value to the employment situation in South Hampshire, will the right hon. Gentleman do everything he can to persuade Caltex to go on with the original project?
§ Mr. Brooke
No, Sir, that is not a question for me. My duty here, if an application comes before me, is to arrange an inquiry and to give a decision, but at present there is no application before me, and it would be quite outside my responsibilities to stimulate one.