HC Deb 26 July 1951 vol 491 cc621-2
9. Mr. Geoffrey Cooper

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the quantity and value of tar, used for refining in this country for the extraction of oils and other chemical contents, imported from hard-currency and soft-currency areas, respectively, in each of the last five years.

Sir H. Shawcross

So far as I am aware, there have been no imports of tar for the extraction of oils and other chemicals, except from the Channel Islands, the details of which I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Cooper

Whilst appreciating that there is not apparently a great import of this material, may I ask my right hon. and learned Friend whether he does not realise that additional supplies of tar and tar acids would be available if we carbonised a larger quantity of the coal at present used for domestic purposes? There are some 40 million tons annually used for domestic purposes, and if that were done, it would not only supply us with smokeless fuel but with the raw materials from which oil could be produced—

Mr. Speaker

These long supplementaries are really making a farce of Question Time.

Mr. Cooper

Does the President of the Board of Trade realise that we could reduce by a quarter the importation of fuel oil and motor spirit if we treated this coal by carbonisation? May I have a reply?

Following are the details:

Year Tons Value
1947 1,735 3,214
1948 1,689 2,334
1949 2,854 3,483
1950 2,768 3,341
1951(Jan.-May) 484 570