§ 14. Mr. Nabarro
asked the Paymaster-General, having regard to the statement by the Inter-Departmental Committee on British African Coals to the effect that they would be less suitable for United Kingdom needs and lower in calorific value than United States coals, what consideration was given to the fact that the Greenwich Fuel Research Station of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research has shown after 1,200 analyses that the average calorific value of coals from various deposits in Tanganyika is comparable to the average calorific value of United States coals shipped to the United Kingdom during 1956–57; and, in view of the special interest of the Colonial Development Corporation, whether he will now make a further statement upon qualities and costs.
§ Mr. Maudling
These analyses, which were known to the Inter-Departmental Committee, show a calorific value for the main Tanganyikan deposits not much less than that of imported American coal. But, as my answer of 25th February explained, many other factors besides calorific value had to be taken into account in reaching conclusions on this matter.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Will my right hon. Friend have some regard to the fact that there is widespread interest in proposals of this kind, which involve the development of Commonwealth sources of supply for coal instead of American sources of supply? Is he aware that the information given in my right hon. Friend's reply the week before last was quite inadequate for Members of this House to form a conclusion on economic and financial grounds, and would he not consider, unusual step though it may be, the publication of the principal matters contained in the inter-Departmental report.
§ Mr. Maudling
It would be quite contrary to precedent and quite wrong to publish inter-Departmental reports. They would lose their value in practice. If my hon. Friend requires information on any specific point, I should be very glad to furnish it to him either by means of Question and answer or by correspondence.