HC Deb 06 February 1968 vol 758 cc206-7
11. Mr. Concannon

asked the Minister of Power what is the increase in the cost of electricity to the National Coal Board since 1st September, 1960; and what is the difference in total consumption of electricity between then and now.

Mr. Freeson

Between 1960 and 1967 total consumption by the National Coal Board rose by about 150 million kilowatt-hours and the cost of the electricity purchased by the Board increased by approximately one farthing per kilowatt-hour.

Mr. Concannon

Is my hon. Friend aware that the date mentioned in the Question is the date of the last increase in the price of coal to the C.E.G.B. from the East Midlands coalfields? This coalfield supplies, on average, 20 million tons of coal at between 3d. and 3½d. per therm at the moment. Is my hon. Friend aware that to be able to do this, and to cover increasing costs, the East Midlands coal field has to increase its productivity by about 4 per cent. per annum? Does not my hon. Friend think that this is a tremendous achievement?

Mr. Freeson

I agree with my hon. Friend, and he knows, from the visits that I have made to his part of the country and my meetings with him, how impressed I have been with the records which have been achieved by the industry there, but the details of this kind of costing are for the National Coal Board and the industry, and not for the Department.