§ Mr. Benn
Third country imports into the European Community mainly come from Australia, the United States and South Africa, where opencast mining and favourable underground conditions yield cheap coal for shipment in large vessels at low rates of freight, or from Poland where export prices are at least as low. Although the National Coal Board is doing its best to increase its share of the export market and United Kingdom coal is the cheapest in the Community, it is necessary, when competing for export business, to match the price of these third country producers.
I assure the hon. Member that the Government will continue to strive within the Energy Council and elsewhere for the increased use of indigenous coal within the Community.