HC Deb 09 July 1968 vol 768 cc200-1
4. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Minister of Power what has been the outcome of his discussions with the National Coal Board about pricing policy.

12. Mr. Speed

asked the Minister of Power what has been the result of his consultations with the National Coal Board on its pricing policies; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mason

Consultations are continuing.

Mr. Osborn

I welcome the fact that we have a Minister of Power from Yorkshire, because he will be aware that in Yorkshire we have the cheapest pits providing coal to the most modern power stations. Will he take note of the need to provide electricity to users in that area, particularly steel users, at pithead and power station prices and not at average prices?

Mr. Mason

That is a very good constituency Question, and I will take note of what the hon. Gentleman says.

Mr. W. Baxter

When discussing the question of coal prices with the National Coal Board, will my right hon. Friend have regard to the fact that coal prices in Scotland are much higher than in England and Wales, and will he take steps to see that there are uniform prices throughout Great Britain?

Mr. Mason

I am aware of the concern about industrial coal pricing, and these paints will be taken into consideration in the review.

Mr. Speed

Will the Minister agree that, unless the April, 1966, pricing agreement between the C.E.G.B. and the National Coal Board is modified, many highly efficient collieries with long term reserves such as the Warwickshire coalfields will be out of business in the next two or three years?

Mr. Mason

I am aware of the consequences.

Mr. Eadie

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is considerable resentment in Scotland over the differential price policy, which, incidentally was started by a Tory Government? This is not a great incentive to industrialists in Scotland to use coal.

Mr. Mason

I am aware of the very strong Scottish views on this, and they will be take a into account.

Mr. Ridley

Can the Minister say whether long-run marginal costing will be employed in determining Coal Board prices in future in accordance with the White Paper on the Nationalised Industries?

Mr. Mason

The hon. Gentleman was chasing me on the Post Office when the N.B.P.I. looked at this. It will be looked at.

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