§ Mr. Whitelaw
I have been asked to reply.
In the last two years the coal industry has had a 4.8 per cent. increase in productivity and has taken other measures to contain costs and increase efficiency. But the coal 383W industry is expected to lose about £500 million before deficit grant this financial year and total national stocks of coal have almost doubled since April 1980.
The industry's future depends on tackling its fundamental problems and producing coal at a competitive price.