HC Deb 18 June 1956 vol 554 cc1022-3
4. Mr. Hunter

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what consideration is being given to the purchase of coal outside the $ area.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

Subject to quality and price, the Coal Board buy as much of their coal imports as possible from outside the $ area.

Mr. Hunter

In order further to save $s, and also to extend East-West trade, will the Minister ask the National Coal Board to make inquiries regarding purchases from Poland and Germany?

Mr. Jones

Yes, certain purchases are being made from Poland, but I am afraid that the quantities available are limited.

6. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how coal imports and exports during the first half of 1956 compare with one year earlier, and with what financial benefit or otherwise to our national economy.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

The Trade and Navigation Accounts for the first half of the year are not yet available, and I cannot, therefore, give the figures asked for. But the latest returns from the Coal Board show that in the first 22 weeks of the year exports were 1–1 million tons less than in the corresponding period of last year, and imports 2 million less. The net effect of these changes is bound to be to the benefit of the balance of payments.

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