HC Deb 09 July 1979 vol 970 cc2-3
1. Mr. Dormand

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of United Kingdom coal production is purchased for use by nationalised industries.

The Under-Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. John Moore)

In 1978 the proportion of the coal produced which was purchased by nationalised industries was 72 per cent.

Mr. Dormand

Is the Minister aware of the deep concern felt in the North-East about the continued importation of Australian coking coal by the British Steel Corporation? Will he tell the chairman of the British Steel Corporation to suspend imports until research being carried out by the National Coal Board into Durham 501 coals is completed? Does he not think that the time has arrived when there should be a coal summit attended by Ministers, the National Coal Board, the Central Electricity Generating Board, the British Steel Corporation and the National Union of Mineworkers to consider the whole question of coal imports?

Mr. Moore

The Government are obviously giving careful consideration to the question of coking coal imports and the extent to which this affects two nationalised industries. I would not wish to comment immediately on the hon. Gentleman's suggestion that there should be a coal summit, but I hear his words. I hope that he will join me in expressing pleasure over the way in which extra stocks from Durham are being moved to the South of Scotland Electricity Board in considerable quanties. To that extent, the Government are apprised of the problem. I repeat that I hear what he says about a coal summit.

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