§ MR. DAVID THOMAS
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the increase in the production and export of British coal in recent years, the limited extent of the coalfields, and the dependence of our industrial supremacy upon an adequate supply of suitable fuel, and having regard to the fact that no official inquiry as to the probable continuance of our coal supplies has been made for nearly a quarter of a century, 186 he will consider the advisability of appointing a Select Committee of the House to report upon the matter?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I have not had an opportunity of consulting the Home Office upon the subject, but I cannot help feeling some personal doubts as to the value of such an investigation unless the hon. Gentle. man thinks that any subsequent action could be taken if the investigation showed that our coalfields were practically becoming exhausted; and that makes me feel doubtful as to the necessity or even the propriety of such an investigation.