HC Deb 28 May 1936 vol 312 cc2199-200
87. Lieut.-Cononel MOORE

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been called to the possibilities of extracting tar and motor spirit from cannel; and whether he will consider the desirability of financing research into this matter with a view to establishing such extraction on a commercial basis in this country?


The possibilities of extracting tar and motor spirit from cannel coal are well known. Certain investigations have recently been carried out in Scotland into the use of cannel coal in continuous vertical retorts at gas works. The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research have been associated with these investigations and the results are made available in a report just presented to the Institution of Gas Engineers. While it is hoped that the investigations may lead to a wider use of cannel coal where sufficient supplies are available, the report points out that cannel coal, occurring as it does in an uncertain sporadic manner, cannot form a source of material upon which reliance, for any length of time, can be placed.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that in the recent estimate as to what motor spirit could be developed in this kind of coal, it was estimated that something like 700,000,000 gallons might be employed if research were developed, and that 700,000,000 gallons represent three-quarters of the total imports of spirit into this country to-day?


Is not the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that in his Department there is information of eight square miles of cannel coal in Ayrshire running from Kilmaurs to the Heads of Ayr?