§ Mr. Peyton
Figures for opencast coal production by regions for each year from 1942 to 1962 inclusive are given in Table 34 of the Ministry of Power Statistical Digest for 1962. Corresponding figures for 1963 are:
Thousand tons Northern 1,373.2 North Eastern 595.0 North Midland 526.0 North Western 376.2 Midland 573.7 Wales—total (including anthracite) 1,404.9 (anthracite 832.2) Scotland 688.3 Total 5,537.3
§ Mr. Mason
asked the Minister of Power (1) what prospecting and boring is being conducted throughout the coal fields, specifying the areas, for seams that can be won by opencast mining methods;
(2) why opencast boring and prospecting is being undertaken in Barnsley 20W and district; and if he will refrain from giving his consent to more opencast mining in this area;
(3) if he is aware of resolutions of protest by local authorities in Barnsley and surrounding districts at the prospect of more opencast coal mining in their areas; and if he will contact each of the local authorities concerned with a view to assuring them that no further opencast mining is contemplated and that boring is for the purpose of cataloguing hidden reserves of coal.
§ Mr. Peyton
I am asking Lord Robens to write to the hon. Member about the National Coal Board's prospecting activities, with particular reference to the Barnsley area. My right hon. Friend has not received any protests recently about prospecting in this area, but if the Board applied for consent under the Opencast Coal Act, 1958, for the working of any sites, he would consider each application on its merits in the light of any objections from local authorities or others.