What the Luftwaffe and the submarines had failed to do, the coal shortage did this week. A large part of British industry shut down and the economic life of the country seemed to be jolting to a halt.

The crisis came almost without warning. For months Fuel Minister Emanuel Shinwell had been making alternately alarming and reassuring statements about the fuel supply. When he rose last week in the House of Commons, it was not to discuss prospects in the dim & distant future, but to state the stunning fact that industry in...

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