HC Deb 01 May 1950 vol 474 cc1398-9
33. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will furnish an estimate of the total planned coal production of the opencast workings projected in the Abberley area of Worcestershire and referred to on site plans "The Elms, M.O.F.P.-M/9/551 /1," and " Crundle, M.O.F.P.-M /9 /550 /1," in respect of each of the years 1950, 1951 and 1952.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Before any production can be planned borings must be made to ascertain that the quality and the quantity of the coal would justify the working of the seams. These borings have not yet begun in the Abberley area, and I cannot, therefore, give the estimates for which the hon. Member asks.

Mr. Nabarro

Does the Minister realise that during the last 50 years innumerable attempts have been made to extract coal from this area, and that all have proved abortive and uneconomical on account of the thin and narrow seams of low-grade sulphurous coal? Will he therefore take steps to prevent any wastage of public funds in further open-cast mine boring?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I will consider what the hon. Gentleman says, but he must understand that we do things much better nowadays.