HC Deb 17 April 1962 vol 658 c214
9. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the steel industry's desire to import United States coal, he will consider giving protection to the British coal industry, comparable to that given to the steel industry.

Sir K. Joseph

The coal industry is at present protected by restrictions on imports.

Mr. Hamilton

Does that mean that the steel industry will under no circumstances be allowed to bring American coal into this country even though it may produce a case, however shaky, that that coal would be cheaper? In years gone by, when the National Coal Board had to import American coal under its statutory obligations, it cost it about £70 million in losses, which were, in effect, a subsidy for the steel industry, among others, by the Board. Will the hon. Gentleman bear that in mind when any further application is made by the steel industry?

Sir K. Joseph

Those matters are for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power, who has told the House that he is reviewing the whole position of the coal industry.

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