HC Deb 31 March 1958 vol 585 c846
34. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Paymaster-General what success has been achieved since the National Coal Board began their research into the production of large coal.

Sir I. Horobin

The figures to date resulting from the drive which the Board announced last November are encouraging. While they show that the deterioration in the proportion of large coal has been arrested, a further period will be necessary before the success of this drive can be established.

Mr. Roberts

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the mechanisation installations are reacting against the industry? Is the hon. Gentleman further aware that I can give an instance of a case in which 2,000 to 3,000 tons of coal have been lost in the last two weeks owing to the introduction of a certain type of mechanisation?

Sir I. Horobin

Without expressing any opinion on that, we cannot conduct the technical affairs of the National Coal Board from this Box. It is a matter for the National Coal Board. If the Board has made a mistake, the hon. Gentleman must inquire there, but I am not prepared to accept that it has made a mistake.

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