§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he will state the amount of coal used by the Navy and its cost per ton on the average in 1906, as compared with the amount used and the cost per ton last year; what is the total additional cost incurred as a result of the rise in the price of coal; and whether the Government have given any consideration to the question of purchasing its own coal mines, with a view to obviating so large an increase in the coal bill of the Navy.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
It has never been the practice, and it is not considered desirable, to publish quantities and prices. The additional cost of coal in 1907 as compared with 1906 was £200,000. The question mentioned in the third paragraph was exhaustively considered in 1901, when the difficulties were found to be insuperable.