asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what recent steps have been taken or are intended by his Department to save coal, improve its use and prevent air pollution.
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power, in view of the coal situation, what action he is taking to reduce waste by industrial users and to avert any undue hardship among the public or dislocation in industrial production during the forthcoming winter.
The National Industrial Fuel Efficiency Service has been set up at my request. Under the new Government loan scheme I have approved 51 schemes amounting to £339,000. I have approved substantial capital investment by the fuel industries which will enable them to save further large tonnages of coal.
While welcoming the steps taken by the Minister, may I ask whether, in view of our economic difficulties, the time has not come for him to put a great drive behind the saving in the use of coal in the national interest? In view of the contribution being made by the miners and by the Coal Board, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that it is his duty to initiate this great drive in order to forestall the difficulties that may arise?
The hon. Gentleman will, perhaps, bear in mind that very massive savings are made every year by the fuel and power industries and by great private industries, such as the steel industry. With regard to industrial fuel efficiency, that is more a matter of proceeding in detail, and it was for that very purpose that this Fuel Efficiency Service was set up.
Can the Minister say what will be the anticipated saving on the schemes which he has so far approved?
No, I could not say now.
The right hon. Gentleman has said that he has authorised over 300 schemes. Is he able to say how much fuel he anticipates will be saved?
I could not give an exact figure today.
Is the Minister aware that according to the Anglo-American Productivity Team it is estimated that the efforts of 10,000 miners in the industry are going to waste through lack of proper organisation, and so on? Does he not think that this is having a retarding effect on the industry?
It is important at all times to save as much coal as possible.