As a result of another three months' experience of these very large coal stocks, can my right hon. Friend confirm that he adheres to the view which he expressed on 23rd November last that these stocks, notwithstanding a very high ash-content, deteriorate at the rate of only 1 per cent. per annum?
I think that my hon. Friend is under a slight misapprehension. I based my estimate for deterioration, about which I am asked in the Question, on the evidence relating to the decline in calorific value. As my hon. Friend knows, there are other deductions which the Board makes for handling and other deterioration. Certainly, that 1 per cent. does not represent the whole figure of deterioration. It is the deterioration in calorific value.