§ 12. Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether coal will be imported at such times that stockbuilding takes place, particularly in the summer months; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir J. Eden
It will certainly be necessary to rebuild stocks to healthier levels for next winter and imports could no doubt make a useful contribution to achieving this objective.
§ Mr. Skinner
Is the Minister aware that by continuing to import coal during the summer months, when stocks will be built up as a result of the industry's efforts, he is, on the one hand. deliberately raising prices, because imported coal costs about £3 a ton more than indigenous coal, and, on the other hand, helping to throw more British miners on the scrap heap?
§ Sir L Eden
The main thing to have in mind is that a continuing gap between demand and supply would harm the long-term interests of the coal industry. The question of prices is one for the importer.