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Coal Resources (Development)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement indicating the approximate coal resources of each of the British Colonies; and what steps are being taken in each case to intensify the development of these coal resources with a view to assisting the economy of the Colonies and of Great Britain. respectively.

British territories with coal resources are Nigeria, the Malayan Union, British Borneo, Tanganyika and Nyasaland, but only the deposits in Nigeria and the Malayan Union are at present being worked. The full extent of the coal deposits in all the territories mentioned has not yet been determined, but geological work for this purpose is now proceeding or is being arranged. Arrangements are also in hand for an expert investigation of the coal resources of Nigeria, North Borneo and Sarawak with a view to developing or increasing exports. The development of the resources of the other areas is not being neglected, but I am advised that it is unlikely that they will be able to make any contribution towards the alleviation of the present coal shortage