Archive (Walters MSS)

Economy: Alan Walters diary (Gas pipeline) [PM has cold feet over pipeline; “thinks it is like steel industry”][released 2012]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: Walters MSS (Churchill Archives Centre): WTRS 3/1/1
Editorial comments: Read other entries from this diary. View all Walters documents. The original diary can be studied here
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 144
Themes: Monetary policy

Tuesday 1st September 1981

11.00 GGP [Gas Gathering pipeline] meeting PM (said it was like steel) and CE [Chancellor of the Exchequer? Sir Geoffrey Howe] and Hamish Grey (Egy.) and Scottish Office. [sic: Hamish Gray (Energy)] PM got cold feet - thinks it is like steel industry. Wanted me as support in meeting. The economic case was not made at all. Great incompetence on Egy. s part. Anyone could tell that oil companies would not put their money into such a scheme. But Egy. had no contingency plan at all. Rookes (BGC) [Sir Denis Rooke, chairman of British Gas] also said that he wanted guaranteed monopsony if he had majority interest in pipeline - PM persuaded by Nigel Wicks and so am I.

5.00 Egy. people - terrible, say they know more about location of gas than oil cos. And they cannot trust the oil cos to get all profitable gas.