Much of the research effort of the National Coal Board's Coal Research Establishment and of the British Coal Utilisation Research Association is concerned with the domestic and industrial use of coal. A large volume of work directed to the improvement of coal combustion systems and plant performance is being conducted by the Central Electricity Generating Board. The Gas Council is continuing research into new methods for the production of gas from coal.
Is my hon. Friend aware that, in the previous five Administrations, every Minister of Power has praised the work of the coal industry? I do not remember an annual debate on the Coal Report without great praise from the Front Bench opposite for the coal industry. Will my hon. Friend see whether there is any shortcoming in research and development by consumers of this product which is so ably retrieved from the earth by British miners?
Is my hon. Friend aware that, in giving general support to the Question which has been asked, this side of the House and those of us who represent coalmining areas will thoroughly resent the series of Questions from the Opposition? Are they not, in effect, sly attacks on the mining industry, whose political attitude they object to?