Coal Industry (Hansard, 3 December 1990)
HC Deb 03 December 1990 vol 182 cc8-9
11. Mr. Denzil Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next intends to meet the chairman and directors of British Coal to discuss the future of the coal industry in Wales.

Mr. Davies

Does the Secretary of State realise that British Coal's latest announcement about the Betws coalfield and mine means that it has now abandoned the west Wales anthracite coalfield? As west Wales anthracite coal has the lowest sulphur content of all coal west of the Ukraine, and as there is now the technology to develop it, does he agree that the board of British Coal has shown criminal incompetence and, frankly, an awful lack of imagination? If they had been workers, not directors, those concerned would have been sacked a long time ago.

Mr. Hunt

Against the background of my own personal concern for the coal industry in south Wales and as somebody who has been underground at Betws—[Interruption.]

Mr. Hunt

The right hon. Gentleman should choose his words more wisely. I utterly reject the accusation that he made against British Coal. This is very much a matter for its commercial judgment.