§ Mr. Pickthorn
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what are the London prices, respectively, of coal and oil for foreign-going bunkers; what is the discrepancy between coal and oil prices reckoned thermally; and what it is intended to do to reduce this discrepancy.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
The London prices for coal and oil for foreign bunkers are 98s. and 103s. per ton respectively. On a thermal basis, assuming four tons of coal to be equivalent to three tons of oil, the price of coal would have to be 77s. 3d. a ton to be equivalent to 103s. a ton for oil. The price of bunker coal is regarded by the Government as a matter for determination by the National Coal Board in the light of commercial considerations. London is not a major coaling station and, owing to the greater distance from the mines, the price of bunker coal is substantially higher than in other shipping areas.