§ 93. Sir J. Mellor
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why he instructed the National Coal Board to contract to export coal before the amount available became known.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
It is necessary towards the end of each calendar year to estimate the amount of coal likely to be available for exports and bunkers during the following year, having regard to the probable level of output and the probable needs of the home market. This procedure was followed a year ago; the estimate then made was used by the Government in their subsequent negotiation of bilateral trade agreements, and by the National Coal Board in planning their forward contracts for the export of coal.