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Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Power what was the average cost at the pit head of anthracite in 1959; and what was the average retail price of anthracite in that year.

I have asked the chairman of the National Coal Board to write to the right hon. Member about the pithead cost of anthracite. Since 1958, when coal control was discontinued, figures of retail anthracite prices have not been collected. At the time of decontrol, the basic retail price of Welsh anthracite nuts ranged from £10 10s. in Swansea to f13 a ton in Newcastle.

asked the Minister of Power to what extent production of Welsh anthracite fell short of demand in the home and export market in 1959; and if he will give estimates of the production and demand during the current year.

The National Coal Board estimates that Welsh anthracite produc- tion in 1961 will be about 3½ million tons compared with 3·1 million tons in 1959. It is not possible to estimate the extent of the unsatisfied demand but the Board expects that in 1961, as in 1959, there will be a small surplus of anthracite duff; there may, on the other hand, be some difficulty in meeting the growing demand for the best qualities of domestic anthracite.