HC Deb 02 February 1953 vol 510 c1460
22. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the deep-mined coal production for the year 1952 compared with 1951; the percentage increase; and how far that rate of increase is consonant with the requirements indicated in the Ridley Report to meet the substantial developing coal deficit therein envisaged.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

It is estimated that 214.35 million tons were produced in 1952, an increase of 2.48 million tons or 1.2 per cent. over 1951; 1952 was, however, a leap year, and this accounted for about 800,000 tons of that year's production.

We shall need to improve on this if we are to meet the Ridley Committee's estimates.

Mr. Nabarro

Is it not a fact that the rate of increase in 1952 as compared with 1951 is only about one-quarter of that which the Ridley Committee suggested would be needed to overcome the very serious shortage of coal that is envisaged in the next few years? Can my right hon Friend confirm that figure?

Mr. Lloyd

No, Sir; it is not as fast as that suggested by the Ridley Committee. I could not say whether my hon. Friend is right in his computation. He will remember that the Coal Board are now considering how best to increase production by 20 million tons a year.

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