• Short Summary

    THE COAL MINING INDUSTRY IN WESTERN EUROPE IS IN A SEVERE STATE OF DEPRESSION. THE?

  • Description

    THE COAL MINING INDUSTRY IN WESTERN EUROPE IS IN A SEVERE STATE OF DEPRESSION. THE AVAILABILITY OF CHEAPER, CLEANER FUELS -OIL, NATURAL GAS AND, BEFORE LONG, NUCLEAR POWER - IS CUTTING DOWN THE DEMAND FOR COAL AND THREATENING THE JOBS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MINERS.

    IN THE RUHR, IN WEST GERMANY, THE LABOUR FORCE IN THE MINES IS LESS THAN HALF WHAT WAS TEN YEARS AGO. MORE THAN 20-MILLION TONS OF COAL STAND UNSOLD AT THE PITHEADS, AND THE GOVERNMENT HAS PLANS TO REDUCE ANNUAL OUTPUT TO UNDER 100-MILLION TONS BY 1970. IN HOLLAND, THE MAIN THREAT TO LOCAL COAL PRODUCTION COMES FROM IMPORTED COAL. AMERICAN COAL IS PRODUCED MUCH MOIRE CHEAPLY, MOSTLY FROM OPENCAST MINES; AND EVEN INCLUDING TRANSPORT COSTS. IT SELLS FOR LESS IN HOLLAND THAN THE COAL FROM THE LOCAL PITS.

    THE MINING INDUSTRY IN FRANCE IS BEING HEAVILY SUBSIDISED BY THE GOVERNMENT. CONSUMPTION IS FALLING TWICE AS FAST AS THE CURRENT ECONOMIC PLAN HAD FORECAST, AND GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ARE RISING BY 200-MILLION FRANCS A YEAR. IN BELGIUM, THE CLOSING OF UNECONOMIC PITS LAST YEAR LED TO THREE DAYS OF SERIOUS RIOTING IN WHICH TWO MINERS WERE KILLED.

    THE LATEST FUEL POLICY STATEMENT BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT ALSO FORECASTS A SHARP FALL IN PRODUCTION AND EMPLOYMENT IN THE COAL INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS. THIS PROPHESY HAS BEEN TAKEN FURTHER BYU THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL COAL BOARD, LORD ROBENS. HE HAS ESTIMATED THAT BY 1980 ONLY 65,000 MEN WILL BE EMPLOYED IN BRITISH PITS, COMPARED WITH 387,000 AT PRESENT. AUTOMATION, INSTALLED TO PRODUCE COAL MORE CHEAPLY AND EFFICIENTLY, IS ITSELF CONTRIBUTING TO THE FALLING DEMAND FOR MANPOWER.

    THE VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS ARE TACKLING THE PROBLEM BY GIVING FINANCIAL INDUCEMENTS TO NEW INDUSTRIES TO MOVE INTO MINING AREAS, AND BY ORGANISING SCHEMES FOR RETRAINING MINERS IN THE NEW SKILLS THESE INDUSTRIES REQUIRE.

    FILM BEGINS WITH SHOTS OF DESERTED PITS WHICH HAVE RECENTLY BEEN CLOSED IN HOLLAND AND WEST GERMANY, AND OF THE VAST COAL STOCKS WHICH HAVE ACCUMULATED IN THE RUHR. IT THEN SHOWS FORMER WEST GERMAN MINERS IN TRAINING AT AN ENGINEERING SCHOOL; AND FORMER DUTCH MINERS WHO HAVE FOUND JOBS IN A DAF CAR FACTORY NEWLY ESTABLISHED IN THE MINING PROVINCE OF LIMBURG. IT INCLUDES SHOTS OF THE BELGIAN RIOTS IN JANUARY 1966. IN BRITAIN, IT SHOWS THE BEVERCOTES PIT IN THE MIDLANDS, WHICH HAS BEEN CONVERTED TO WORKING BY ELECTRONIC REMOTE CONTROL; AND, IN CONTRAST, ONE OF THE WELSH MINING VALLEYS, THE KIND OF AREA LIKELY TO SUFFER SEVERELY FROM THE CLOSING OF THE LESS ECONOMIC PITS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7HW1ROAGCXYMSM2J4JUUZU1XS
    Media URN:
    VLVA7HW1ROAGCXYMSM2J4JUUZU1XS
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    27/11/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:07:46:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment