asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the recent discovery of coal in Northern Rhodesia.
In 1949 a syndicate representing the Government of Northern Rhodesia, the British South Africa Company and the copper companies was formed with the object of prospecting for coal in Northern Rhodesia. Preliminary surveys were begun in October, 1949, and completed in April, 1950, and drilling operations have since been carried out in the area between the railway and the Zambesi River. Coal beds have been discovered in a number of places, but my right hon. Friend has received no reports yet as to whether the coal is of commercial value.