Is the Prime Minister aware that the Government's actions are doing very little to remedy the coal shortage? Does he agree that the publication of the Coal Industry Bill, particularly Clauses 6 and 7, which is regarded by miners as provocative, will stimulate a crisis of confidence in the coal industry?
Will the Prime Minister consider the proposal to set up a committee, with himself as chairman, and call the heads of the nationalised industries together—provided that he can find a room big enough for Lord Robens' head—to discuss the possibilities of a concerted fuel policy, not only for this winter but for next winter and the winter following, giving coal its rightful place in the fuel economy?
Will the Prime Minister bear in mind, in connection with winter fuel supplies, that deep-mined coal output fell by nine million tons in the 47 weeks to the third week of November, compared with the comparable period the year before, largely on account of industrial disputes? Is this not ample justification for the important Bill to be brought before the House this day?
I think that it is widely recognised that there was a shortage of coal and that this was aggravated by industrial disputes in the industry. Perhaps these matters had better be left to be debated later today.