HC Deb 23 March 1959 vol 602 cc898-9
24. Mr. Palmer

asked the Paymaster-General if he will make a statement on the present level of undistributed coal stocks.

Sir I. Horobin

Undistributed stocks of coal at 7th March were just under 20 million tons.

Mr. Palmer

Can the Parliamentary Secretary explain why, in view of the present great surplus of coal, the Government appear to take a rather distant, indifferent attitude in marked contrast to their attitude on home-produced food?

Sir I. Horobin

I do not know what the hon. Gentleman means by a distant attitude. It seems to me that the Government have taken a very sensible view, namely, that provided the coal industry is adjusting itself to changed conditions it is reasonable that the Government, who are its bankers, should finance these stocks rather than put a lot more miners out of work.

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