§ 45. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Prime Minister whether he has considered the telegram and letter sent to him on 3rd June, 1950, by the Kidderminster and District Branch of the National Farmers' Union; and what action he proposes to take in the matters concerned.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)
Yes, Sir. The hon. Member will be aware from previous answers to his questions on the subject of prospecting for open-cast coal in Worcestershire, given by the Ministers of Fuel and Power, Agriculture and Town and Country Planning, that the policy of the Government is to prove all available coal resources by systematic boring which does not damage the land to any significant extent. When the value of coal which may be obtained in any particular area is known, the most careful consideration will be given to the agricultural implications of winning it and to the effect on the beauty of the countryside.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Is the Prime Minister aware that the reply received from the Minister of Fuel and Power is totally unsatisfactory? Can he say how he supposes that farmers and farm workers can respond to the appeals from the Minister of Agriculture for increased food production if their land is to be sequestrated for open-cast coal mining?
§ The Prime Minister
I have had that reply before me. I do not think it is at all unsatisfactory. It puts the case perfectly clearly. The prospecting is to see whether the coal is there. The question of whether it is to be worked or not must take into full account agricultural and aesthetic and other considerations. I think it is perfectly obvious.