HC Deb 28 November 1955 vol 546 cc1919-20
26. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that experimental underground gasification of low-grade sulphurous coals in thin seams in the Bayton and Rock areas of Worcestershire is causing emission of noxious fumes over a wide area; what instructions he has given to his staff operating this plant with a view to abatement of the fumes; and, in view of growing concern among local residents in an area of special scenic beauty and agricultural importance, what further safeguards he now proposes.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

These important trials cannot be continued except at the risk of some air pollution, but everything is being done to keep it to a minimum.

Mr. Nabarro

But is my hon. Friend aware that these underground gasification experiments are causing a very nasty smell round Kidderminster? While we all desire to see a satisfactory outcome to these important experiments, may I ask my hon. Friend whether he can persuade his local officials to promote and implement a policy of clean air in the Kidderminster area, as elsewhere?

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I am sorry that my hon. Friend's constituency has been so adversely affected, but I am afraid that while the production is in an experimental stage it is unavoidable to burn gas to waste. If the experiments prove economically satisfactory and they go into a stage of commercial development, that waste gas will be utilised, when I hope there will be no such aromas as those to which my hon. Friend objects.

Mr. Elwyn Jones

Could not the hon. Gentleman take steps to deal also with hot air in Kidderminster?

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