HC Deb 11 June 1964 vol 696 cc606-7
13. Mr. Skeet

asked the Minister of Power what were the percentage allocations of the fuels available in the United Kingdom energy market in 1963; and what is his estimate of the position in 1970, with particular reference to coal and oil.

Mr. Peyton

The percentage distribution of inland energy consumption in 1963 was coal 68½ oil 30, and nuclear-and hydro-electricity 1½. I expect the percentage of coal to fall over the years to 1970 and the percentages of both oil and nuclear power to rise, within a larger and growing total consumption.

Mr. Skeet

I am much obliged for that information. Is my hon. Friend aware that the European Coal and Steel Community trend shows that for 1948 coal occupied 80 per cent. of the energy market and 50 per cent. in 1963? Having observed this course of trend, what steps is he taking to ensure that miners are redeployed in suitable employments and that the economy is given the opportunity of access to low-cost fuels which are now available?

Mr. Peyton

I agree with the first part of that supplementary question and I do not doubt that the Chairman of the National Coal Board will take note of what my hon. Friend said in the second part.

Sir C. Osborne

How far will these calculations be altered by the recent offer by Holland to meet half our requirements from the new natural gas fields in Holland? At what price is this natural gas offered to us compared with the price we have to pay for gas made from coal?

Mr. Peyton

I do not think I would care to make that prophecy, certainly not in response to this Question.

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