HC Deb 13 November 1950 vol 480 cc1360-1
23. Mr. P. Roberts

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will give a forecast of the total production of coal and also inland consumption of coal over each of the next two years.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I regret that I am unable at present to make the forecast for which the hon. Member asks.

Mr. Roberts

Is this an example of Socialist planning?

Mr. Noel-Baker

No, Sir. Every year, in the Economic Survey, we make an estimate of the consumption and output for the year. I do not want to anticipate that.

Miss Ward

When are we to reach the same production of deep-mined coal as we had before the war?

Mr. Mellish

Can my right hon. Friend say whether there has been an increase in coal production this year compared with last year?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Yes, Sir. There certainly has been—more than two million tons more.

Mr. Roberts

Are there not estimates for two years ahead? As the normal planning is for five years ahead, why cannot the House have these figures?

Mr. Noel-Baker

There are estimates but they are not in a condition in which I would like to publish them now.

Mr. Roberts

In view of the deplorable remarks of the Minister, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.