§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will give a direction to the National Coal Board under Section 6 of the Coal Industry Act 1971;
(2) when he last gave a direction under Section 6 of the Coal Industry Act 1971 to the National Coal Board.
§ Mr. Dodsworth
asked the Secretary of State for Energy why he is unable to publish cash flow forecasts for the National Coal Board for each of the next five years in view of the fact that a comprehensive plan for the industry is in existence.
§ Mr. Eadie
Over the last three financial years NCB expenditure on research and development related to the evolution of automatic and remote control mining has amounted to £3 million, £5 million and £7 million, respectively. Within these figures direct expenditure on the automatic and remote control of mining operations was £0.8 million, £0.9 million and £3.6 million. We are unable to estimate the amount spent on research and development in this field by individual mining manufacturers or of the effort in other coal-producing countries.