§ 48. Mr. THURTLE
asked the Secretary for Mines whether his Department has any information in its possession as to whether the process of extracting oil from coal is now being carried out on a commercial basis in Germany?
Duchess of ATHOLL
My right hon. Friend has been asked to reply to this question on behalf of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. There are several processes of extracting oil from coal. Tar, from which oils are produced, is obtained commercially in gasworks, etc., in Germany, as in this country. Low-temperature carbonisation processes have long been employed for the extraction of oil from brown coals in Germany. It is understood that oil is now also being produced on a commercial scale in Germany by the hydrogenation of brown coal.
§ Mr. PALING
Is the Noble Lady aware that three years ago a Report was issued through the research station, to the effect that this question was rapidly approaching the point when it would be a commercial success in this country, and what is the reason why it has made no headway recently; are we going to be left behind by other countries?
§ Mr. HARDIE
Is the Noble Lady aware of the fact that low temperature is not a commercial process only because the vested interests in this country prevent its development?