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Coal Imports

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th June 1988.

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Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy) 12:00 am, 13th June 1988

Nobody who listens to the hon. Gentleman would imagine that the Government have allowed £1 billion of taxpayers' money to be spent on the industry each year, or allowed £6 billion of investment to be made in the industry. Anybody would think that the Government were allowing the industry to go out of business. Quite the converse is the case. The Government are building the industry into one that is able to take on all comers, particularly for the reason that the hon. Gentleman mentioned—the unpredictability of the future price of coal. Coal prices may well rise. In that event, British Coal will be even more profitable than we want it to be immediately.