HC Deb 08 March 1966 vol 725 c1895
33. Mr. Rose

asked the Minister of Power the comparative increases in costs of coal production and coal distribution during the last 10 years.

Mr. Frederick Lee

Figures relating to the cost of coal production are given in the National Coal Board Report and Accounts, published yearly. No comprehensive information is available on the cost of coal distribution.

Mr. Rose

Why are not these figures available? Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the costs of coal distribution have increased disproportionately and that this fact calls for an investigation into the whole organisation of the industry of coal distribution with a view to rationalising it?

Mr. Lee

My hon. Friend may have seen that we announced yesterday that we had accepted the recommendation of the National Board for Prices and Incomes and that we are having an investigation into distribution costs.

Mr. Edward M. Taylor

Would not the Minister agree that more important than distribution costs are the regional variations in the price of coal? Can he give an assurance that following his announcement yesterday, housewives in Scotland will not have to pay more than £1 extra per ton for coal?

Mr. Lee

I cannot see that that arises on this Question.

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