§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has any proposals to amend the Coal Industry Act to put an obligation on British Coal to protect existing coal reserves.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
Under the Coal Industry Acts 1946 to 1990, the British Coal Corporation has a statutory duty to secure the efficient development of the coal industry. The Government have announced their intention to privatise the coal industry after the next election, which will involve a change to the existing legislation.