HC Deb 26 January 1954 vol 522 cc1582-3
4. Mr. R. Harris

asked the Minister of Works what survey has been made of the quantities of economically recoverable uranium and thorium in this country and in the colonial overseas countries; how much has already been utilised; what is the estimated consumption for the next 12 months; and what is the cost per pound of extracted material.

Sir D. Eccles

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply to the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) on 9th November, 1953, in respect of survey work in the United Kingdom; and to that given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies to the right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) on 10th December, 1952, in respect of Northern Rhodesia. Surveys of other colonial territories have been made, but no deposits have yet been discovered which would justify mining at the present time. I regret that it would not be in the public interest to give any figures of utilisation or cost.

Mr. Harris

Who is responsible for carrying out the surveys now? Is it the Ministry of Works, the new Atomic Energy Corporation, or some United Nations body?

Sir D. Eccles

At the present time the Lord President of the Council is the Minister responsible.