§ 23. Mr. Sexton
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can give the approxi- 16 mate area and depth of the peat beds in Weardale and Teesdale; whether he has any results of any survey as to the quality of the peat; and whether he will take steps to consider the use of such peat to produce oils and manure of great value to the nation and, at the same time, giving employment to hundreds of unemployed in the two dales?
I have been asked to reply. The Secretary for Mines understands that peat occurs over the greater part of the approximately 100 square miles of upland heather moor in the neighbourhood of Weardale and Teesdale. The deposits are estimated to have an average depth of not more than 5 to 10 feet. Detailed information as to the quality of this peat is not available. The question of the possible utilisation of peat in time of war has already been referred to the Committee under the Chairmanship of Lord Henley, the appointment of which was announced by the Secretary for Mines in answer to a Question by the right hon. Member for Lime house (Mr. Attlee) on 20th March.