HC Deb 08 November 1954 vol 532 cc849-50
32. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how much coal has been imported this year to the latest convenient date; how much has been contracted for, to arrive before the end of this calendar year; how much of the imports are house coal, and how much otherwise; and how much forms the subject of dollar expenditure, and how much otherwise.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

Up to the end of October about 2 million tons, including some 1¼ million tons of large coal which directly or indirectly assisted the house coal market and some ¼ million tons of coal costing dollars. About 1 million tons are expected to arrive before the end of the calendar year, of which about one half will be large coal and some ¼ million tons will cost dollars.

33. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps have been taken, or are being taken, to buy surplus United States coal for sterling; and whether all purchases of United States coal, to date, have been made for dollars or otherwise.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

The answer to the first part of the Question is "None" and to the second part "For dollars."

Mr. Nabarro

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that we have been recently engaged in buying surplus American canned fruit for sterling? If we can do that, is it not possible to buy surplus American coal for sterling, for there is a large surplus of coal in America, and one that is likely to continue for a considerable time?

Mr. Lloyd

Should there be an opportunity for that, I shall certainly not miss it.