§ Mr. Nabarro
92, 93 and 94. asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in respect of the coal-burning heating systems at the seven gaols which ate to be converted to oil-burning in 1960 by Her Majesty's Prison Commissioners, what is the capital cost entailed by such conversion; what is the coal equivalent consumption entailed before arid after conversion; what economy is envisaged in fuel consumption: what assessment has been made of laboursaving; and why oil is being substituted for coal, having regard to existing, coal stocks, distributed and undistributed, of 53 million tons worth approximately £240 millions;
(2) in respect of the seven coal-burning heating systems at the gaols at Aylesbury, Birmingham, Dorchester, Exeter, Gloucester, Manchester and Stafford which are to be converted to oil-burning in 1960 by Her Majesty's Prison Commissioners, what technical advice and 44W guidance he has taken from the National Industrial Fuel Efficiency Service before deciding against the continued use of indigenous fuel, namely coal, having regard to large existing coal stocks.
(3) in respect of the coal-burning heating systems at the seven gaols which are to be converted to oil-burning in 1960 by Her Majesty's Prison Commissioners, whether he will have regard to the success of the precedent established by the National Union of Mineworkers at their new headquarters in Euston Road, London, N.W.1, which planned to install oil-burners and following intervention by the hon. Member for Kidderminster switched to coal-burning; and whether he will now, having further regard to the size of stocks of coal, arrange for these seven gaols to burn coal in future, after modernisation of their coal-burning plants.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
The National Industrial Fuel Efficiency Service advised that in this type of case either an oil-fired system or a coal-fired system with mechanical stoking should be adopted, and in the particular circumstances of the closed prisons where the difficulties of layout were considerable the former was chosen. Including the fuel tanks, the capital cost of each of these installations will be between £6,000 and £7,000 and running costs are about the same as for coal firing.
Further modernisation schemes are under consideration and the National Coal Board is being consulted.