§ 26. Mr. Ginsburg
asked the Minister of Power on what evidence he based his estimate of the extent of the deterioration of deep-mined coal held in stock at the pithead.
§ The Minister of Power (Mr. Richard Wood)
My statements on the loss in the calorifio value sustained by coal in stock have been based on the advice of the National Coal Board and the evidence submitted to my predecessor by his Scientific Advisory Council.
§ Mr. Ginsburg
I thank the Minister for that helpful reply. Will he ensure that the scientific evidence which he summarises is given the maximum publicity and, not least, that it is brought home to the critics of the Minister's policy and of the National Coal Board?
§ Mr. Nabarro
As a result of another three months' experience of these very large coal stocks, can my right hon. Friend confirm that he adheres to the 15 view which he expressed on 23rd November last that these stocks, notwithstanding a very high ash-content, deteriorate at the rate of only 1 per cent. per annum?
§ Mr. Wood
I think that my hon. Friend is under a slight misapprehension. I based my estimate for deterioration, about which I am asked in the Question, on the evidence relating to the decline in calorific value. As my hon. Friend knows, there are other deductions which the Board makes for handling and other deterioration. Certainly, that 1 per cent. does not represent the whole figure of deterioration. It is the deterioration in calorific value.
§ Mr. Nabarro
Will my right hon. Friend say what is the total percentum deterioration, as these answers are all becoming very confusing and obscure?
If the right hon. Gentleman knows any of his hon. Friends who have been spreading alarm and despondency with grossly exaggerated statements on the degree of deterioration, will he cause them to look at the scientific facts before making such absurd remarks?