HC Deb 11 March 1948 vol 448 cc168-9W
Mr. Snadden

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will state in regard to opencast coal production in Scotland and England and Wales respectively, the numbers of persons employed in excavation, handling and administration and the numbers engaged in the preliminary work of surveying, prospecting, etc.; and the respective costs per ton of coal produced.

Mr. Gaitskell

There were 10,301 persons employed in excavating, handling and administrative work connected with opencast coal production in England and Wales in December, 1947, and 1,133 in Scotland. The numbers employed in surveying, prospecting, etc., were 723 and 277 respectively. As regards the second part of the Question, the costs of production for the nine months ending 31st December, 1947 (including the cost of removal and replacement of topsoil and overburden, and the extraction of coal) were 26s. 1d. per ton in England and Wales and 25s. 2d. per ton in Scotland. In addition, expenditure in respect of prospecting, royalties, and compensation, operation of screening and loading plants and stocking grounds, establishment charges and selling expenses, etc. (which cannot in general be broken down as between Scotland and England and Wales) is estimated to amount to 17s. 3d. per ton.