§ 21. Mr. Osborne
asked the Minister of Power if, in view of the fact that the National Coal Board has some 35 million tons of unsold coal, and that it costs 20s. a ton to stock it for one year, 26s. for two years and 32s. for three years, he will give a general direction to the Board to arrange to sell the coal at much lower prices and so give the consumer the benefit.
§ Mr. Wood
The stocks are mostly industrial coals, where a sale at bargain prices would not substantially increase consumption. The Board would lose money without achieving any real reduction in stocks, because coal lifted from stock would be replaced by coal from current production. I referred to the costs of stocking during the debate today on the Second Reading of the Coal Industry Bill.