HC Deb 30 November 1959 vol 614 cc849-50
6. Mr. Fitch

asked the Minister of Power if the Wilson Committee set up to examine the prospects for a coal-based chemical industry has yet reported its findings; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wood

No, Sir. The Committee is pressing on urgently with its very detailed investigations, but it may be some months yet before it is ready to report. The chairman tells me the Committee has reached a stage where it would welcome further written memoranda from people interested in research and development on processes making chemicals, gases and oil from coal and in the organisation of such work.

Mr. Fitch

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is considerable disquiet at the apparent lack of progress in research in the use of coal as a byproduct? Cannot he get the Committee to speed things up a little?

Mr. Wood

As the hon. Member knows, the Committee was appointed only in April this year and I think that it is working with considerable dispatch. I hope that it will report as early as possible. I do not honestly believe that it can be accused of delay or lack of urgency in its proceedings.