HC Deb 21 April 1958 vol 586 cc599-600
19. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Paymaster-General, having regard to the fall of approximately 2,100,000 tons in deep-mined coal production during the first twelve weeks of 1958, compared with the equivalent period in 1957, and notwithstanding much higher man-power at 711,100 average weekly during 1958 to date, what revised estimate he has now made of deep-mined coal production for the year 1958.

Mr. Maudling

It is too early to assess the likely level of deep-mined coal production in the current year. The total number of men employed at 5th April was 5,200 less than a year ago. The figures of output for recent weeks do suggest some degree of improvement over the poor results of January and February.

Mr. Nabarro

Is it not a fact that, based on the period in 1958 to date, the reduction in coal production for the whole year would show a figure of the order of 8 million tons compared with last year, which is a very large figure? Will my right hon. Friend not give the House an assurance that this will not lead to any general shortage of industrial or domestic coal or coal for transportation purposes?

Mr. Maudling

That is clearly a hypothetical question, depending entirely upon whether current production trends continue and what happens to the trend of demand.

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