HC Deb 28 February 1951 vol 484 cc2061-2
17. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how much coal has been shipped from Nigeria to this country since it was decided to import Nigerian coal; how much awaits shipment at the colliery and Port Harcourt, respectively; and to what extent the ships sent to load it have been kept waiting.

Mr. J. Griffiths

No shipments have yet arrived in the United Kingdom, but two ships were due in Part Harcourt on 23rd and 24th February to load 4,600 tons, and another is due there in March to load 2,500 tons. There are 10,000 tons at the colliery and 31,600 tons at Port Harcourt. No ships have been kept waiting at Port Harcourt.

Mr. Keeling

As coal has accumulated at both the colliery and the port, is it not a pity that, as we were told last week by the Minister of Fuel and Power, only 10,000 tons of Nigerian coal has been bought by the National Coal Board?

Mr. Griffiths

That is a question which ought to be put to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power.

Mr. Keeling

It's your coal.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this coal can be shipped direct to British ports, or whether it has to be trans-shipped at great expense, like the American coal?

Mr. Griffiths

That, again, is a question which ought to be put to the Minister of Fuel and Power.

Mr. J. Langford-Holt

Is the use of ships for this purpose creating a shortage of ships on the neighbouring Gold Coast?

Mr. Griffiths

I cannot say, Sir.