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Volume 436: debated on Thursday 24 April 1947

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what weekly coal output it is estimated will be necessary, and how much above the present will it have to be in the last two months of the year, to achieve the 1947 target of 200,000,000 tons, and on the official basis that 89,000,000 tons will be the output over the six months May to October.

If the output of deep-mined and opencast coal during the six months May to October were to amount only to 89,000,000 tons, an average weekly production of 5,200,000 tons would be required during November and December to obtain an output of 200,000,000 tons during the calendar year 1947.

Does not that answer really mean that even the right hon. Gentleman is extremely doubtful whether his low target of 200 million tons can, in fact, be achieved, although the trade unions and most of the country admit that it is not nearly enough?

Does the right hon. Gentleman still adhere to the estimate of 8g million tons as a realisable target?

Will not the right hon. Gentleman now realise the urgent necessity of trying to get coal from abroad, and that that cannot be done effectively by the present Minister?