HC Deb 10 February 1958 vol 582 cc21-2
48. Mr. Mason

asked the Paymaster-General to what extent the National Coal Board has been successful in producing briquettes, particularly the smokeless type; and if he will make a statement of anticipated supplies for the current year.

Sir I. Horobin

One and a quarter million tons of ordinary briquettes and 700,000 tons of "Phurnacite", a smokeless briquette, were produced in 1957. Production in 1958 will depend upon demand. The Board is developing new types of smokeless briquettes and a pilot plant will start operating this year in South Wales.

Mr. Mason

Is there not bound to be a growing demand for the briquette, particularly the smokeless briquette, as a result of the operation of the Clean Air Act? Will the Parliamentary Secretary assure the House that he will do his utmost to try to produce this smokeless briquette at reasonable prices so as to encourage the change-over, particularly by the domestic householder?

Sir I. Horobin

Certainly that is a very desirable thing, but I am sure the hon. Gentleman will appreciate that there are technical difficulties and it would be a waste of money to launch out until we are sure that the pilot plan has overcome the technical difficulties relating to this new product.

Forward to