HC Deb 23 April 1968 vol 763 cc10-1
6. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Minister of Power what steps he has taken in his consultations on the National Coal Board price structure to ensure that the Central Electricity Generating Board is allowed to compete on level terms with all other potential coal users interested in long-term supplies of cheap coal.

18. Mr. Eadie

asked the Minister of Power, in view of the coal stocks in Scotland, whether, in the course of his discussions with the National Coal Board on pricing policies, he will raise the matter of future market trends.

Mr. Gunter

All important matters bearing on the price structure will be discussed, but I cannot say how long the consultations will take.

Mr. Osborn

Is it not a fact that Alcan has been offered coal at prices below those available to Seaton Carew and Longannet, and is not this creating an undesirable distortion?

Mr. Gunter

The C.E.G.B. already receives substantial supplies of cheap coal from the National Coal Board, and the Board is anxious to increase long-term supplies of cheap coal to its biggest customer.

Mr. Eadie

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is mounting criticism against the selective coal-pricing policy, and, in the light of increased coal stocks, will he not consider doing something, where the Government are concerned, to influence market trends?

Mr. Gunter

That matter is now under discussion between the Coal Board and myself.

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