§ LORD BARNBY
asked Her Majesty's Government why the usual commercial practice of price reduction where supply exceeds demand, as urged by Government spokesman on traders with a view to reducing the cost of living, cannot be applied to surplus stocks of small coal.
§ THE MINISTER OF POWER (LORD MILLS)
Small coal is, generally speaking, suitable only for industrial use, and its consumption depends largely on the general level of industrial activity. In March last the price of small graded coal to industry was reduced and the price of large coal and large graded coal increased resulting in a switch in industrial use of some 1¼ million tons per annum from larger to smaller sizes. The National Coal Board consider that further general price reductions would not materially increase demand, and that the result would be a fall in total proceeds, which they cannot afford.