§ Mr. Gray
I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the written answer given by my hon. Friend to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mr. Craigen) on 24 May 1979—[Vol. 967, c.188]. Setting January 1973 at 100 the average price of our imports of crude oil is estimated to be 632 in May 1979. On the same basis the retail price index on May 1979 was 242. Adjusting the increase in money oil prices by the in-crease in the RPI yields an index of real oil prices for May 1979 of 261.
§ Mr. Gray
The object of the IEA and EEC 5 per cent. oil demand restraint commitments entered into in March was to bring supply and demand into balance at the then current price levels. These savings have taken longer than expected to work through on a global scale with consequent pressure on prices. However, the basic IEA figuring has not been challenged. Obviously if the full savings cannot be achieved, or if the supply position were to deteriorate further, the equilibrium point would be at a higher price level, but it is not possible to estimate that level now.