HC Deb 30 March 1949 vol 463 c120W
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.