HC Deb 14 November 1955 vol 546 c25
42. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether his attention has been brought to the proposals made by the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council in paragraph 33 of their latest report; and what action he proposes to take to implement such proposals.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

Yes, Sir; and I have explained to the Council why I cannot accept its proposals.

Mr. Hamilton

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that these are very good proposals and that the Consumers' Council advocates that the Coal Board should be relieved of the responsibility for the interest on compensation paid to former mine owners and responsibility for importing coal? Does not the Minister agree that those two items form a considerable amount in the balance sheet of the National Coal Board and, if they were removed, the Board could well pay its way and give the miners the charter they want?

Mr. Lloyd

I consider that, when we look at the problem of coal prices squarely, those are false issues and that we must face the fact that between 60 per cent. and 70 per cent. of the cost of coal is wages.

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