HC Deb 01 December 1931 vol 260 c908

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been drawn to the claim by Professor R. W. Wheeler that a satisfactory solution of the low-temperature carbonisation problem has now been evolved at Sheffield University, which has been accepted by the Third International Bituminous Congress at Pittsburg; and whether he will put at the disposal of the House all the information he has on this subject?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Isaac Foot)

Although Dr. Wheeler visited America on behalf of the Safety in Mines Research Board he did not attend the conference referred to as the representative either of that Board or of the Government. He described one of the large number of low-temperature carbonisation processes which are the subject of examination and experiment in this country. I have no doubt his paper will he published in the technical Press.


Can the hon. Gentleman inform us whether, in view of the potential importance of such a proposal to coal mines and also to the shale oil industry in Scotland, any steps are contemplated to put this new system into operation and give it a trial on a commercial basis in this country?


Every opportunity will be given for testing, and all means at the disposal of our Department can be used in this direction, but it would be impossible, of course, for the Department to express an opinion upon the process until the necessary proofs have been given.