§ Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the capital investment programme of the National Coal Board; and when he intends to introduce an order on the board's borrowing requirements.
§ Mr. John Moore
Substantial investment in the coal industry must continue so that the industry can equip itself with modern capacity to meet the longer-term demands for coal. A draft order to raise the NCB's borrowing limit from £1,800 million to £2,200 million was laid before the House on 5 July for approval.
§ Mr. Richard Shepherd
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the working of the National Coal Board productivity agreement.
§ Mr. John Moore,
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 5 July 1979; Vol 969, c. 260], gave the following further answer:
Throughout 1977 productivity and production were declining. The introduction of the productivity arrangements reversed this decline, especially in the key area of face and development operations. In October 1977, on a falling trend face output per manshift was 7.7 tonnes. By October 1978 it had climbed to 8.6 tonnes and last March it was 8.8 tonnes. but overall OMS did not do so well, 19W increasing from 2.13 tonnes in October 1977 to 2.22 tonnes last month. Both sides of the industry regard this as disappointing and are jointly making strenuous efforts to improve performance.