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Utilisation of Coal

Nature volume 134, page 212 (11 August 1934) | Download Citation



IN the Watt Anniversary Lecture for 1934 of the Greenock Philosophical Society, Prof. W. A. Bone emphasised the continued importance of the coal trade as the mainstay of our national economy. As an unre pentant Free Trader, he pleaded for freer international exchange and held the revival of the coal export trade to be vital to our recovery and to brook no delay. Modern tendencies to economic nationalism, especially in agriculture, were brushed aside. Prof. Bone skilfully outlined modern technical problems. He is not unduly afraid of oil, and gives only a limited approval of hydrogenation for liquid fuel, justifiable probably on strategic grounds only. The use of pulverised coal—freed from ash—appeals to him as a problem to be studied with all the resources at command and he believes that it would be solved if a James Watt or Charles Parsons were to take it in hand. In conjunction with this it is interesting to read an address on “The Utilisation of Coal” given by W. B. Gordon, director of the Coal Utilisa tion Council, before the Royal Society of Aj:ts (J. Roy. Soc. Arts, June 8, 1934). Mr. Gordon outlined the function of the Council set up by the organisation of producers and distributors of coal. The con sumer is not represented. Even such large consumers as the public utilities appear to be regarded as com petitors, forthe Council appears to have a bias for the use of raw coal. In the subsequent discussion, the neglect of the consumer's requirements received adverse comment.

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