§ 41. Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is British Coal's record of productivity in coal production since 1985; and what information he has on comparable figures for other major international coal producers.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
British Coal's productivity rose by over 30 per cent. from 2.72 tonnes per manshift in 1985–86 to 3.62 tonnes in 1987–88. In Australia productivity rose from 12.32 tonnes in 1984–85 to 13.96 tonnes in 1986–87 (the latest period for which figures are available), a rise of 13 per cent., and in the United States of America productivity (measured in short tons) rose from 14.69 to 18.18 tons between the calendar years 1985 to 1987, a rise of 23 per cent. Since then, British Coal's productivity has increased further to 4.14 tonnes per manshift in 1988–89; I understand that there have also been substantial productivity gains in Australia and the United States of America since 1987.