HC Deb 09 July 1968 vol 768 cc197-8
40. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Power if he will make a statement on the progress made in modifying the contents of the White Paper on Fuel Policy following devaluation; and whether such modifications will result in slowing down of the rate of pit closures.

Mr. Mason

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to him on 6th February by my right hon. Friend, the present Minister of Transport.—[Vol. 758. c. 211.]

Mr. Hamilton

Is it not the case that my right hon. Friend's two predecessors said that there would be no appreciable difference in the content of the White Paper as a consequence of devaluation? Does he himself accept that position? If he does not, will he produce another White Paper, and make sure that it is debated on the Floor of the House?

Mr. Mason

On the latter point, "No, Sir". On the first point, what did come out was that devaluation made British coal cheaper in export markets and although these will increase there will be no dramatic increase.

Mr. Lubbock

Would not one of the effects of devaluation be to alter the order of merit of existing plants of the C.E.G.B. system, and will he say how much coal he expects to be burned in C.E.G.B. stations in 1968–69 as a result of the change?

Mr. Mason

I could not go into that detail without prior notice.