Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 20th February 1992.

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Photo of Mr John MacGregor Mr John MacGregor Chair, Privileges Committee, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House Lords (Privy Council Office), Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Privy Council Office), Chair, Privileges Committee 3:31 pm, 20th February 1992

We have already had a number of debates affecting the mining industry, so I cannot promise a debate next week. I am aware of the view that one individual put to the Select Committee yesterday. The Government's aim is to create the largest economic United Kingdom coal industry that the market can support in the longer term. We do not accept that the industry will be reduced to 12 pits. The future size will depend on the performance of the industry itself. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman agrees that it is encouraging that Boyds, the United States mining engineers, has found great scope for further productivity improvements, so British Coal should be well placed to compete in price with imported coal and to secure the lion's share of the electricity market by offering competitively priced coal.