HC Deb 13 July 1970 vol 803 c1120
6. Mr. Eadie

asked the Minister of Technology (1) if he is satisfied that domestic demand for coal will be met in 1970; and what measures he will take to safeguard the position;

(2) what steps he will take to balance the demand between coal cosumption and production; and what are the current levels of production and consumption.

Sir J. Eden

Figures of production and consumption are published weekly by the Department. It is for the National Coal Board to ensure that supplies are adequate to meet likely demand.

Mr. Eadie

Is the Minister of State aware that that is a most unsatisfactory answer? Would he not agree that it is a matter of great concern that the consumption of coal is outstripping production? Is he not concerned that certain vested interests have used the situation, and will he as Minister try to explain the matter and seek to safeguard the miners who work in the industry?

Sir J. Eden

I am concerned with the whole question of supplies of solid fuel for this winter, but the exact picture depends both on the extent of the demand and the success in increasing productivity.