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Stocks (Opencast Coal)

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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29.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power to what extent opencast coal, which is not suitable for open-air storage, is being substituted for deep-mined coal for winter stocks.

Opencast coal is not specifically set aside for stocking purposes. Nearly the whole of current production of saleable opencast coal is being distributed, and it is for consumers and merchants themselves to decide whether and to what extent they retain any proportion of their allocation of such coal for building up end-summer stocks.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the allocation of opencast coal for the whole of this summer is no less than 10.7 per cent., and that supplies of good coal in this area are worse than they have ever been at any time, even during the war? Is he further aware that only good coal is suitable for stocking, and this means that customers today are mostly compelled to have opencast and soft coal?

Owing to the Lancashire dispute, it was necessary to put an increased amount of opencast coal into the area, but now that production is back to normal, the amount of opencast coal will be reduced to the average amount for the region.