GREAT BRITAIN: King Coal's Abdication

The price of coal, lifeblood of British industry, was increased a surprising 18% (about $1.60 a ton) by Britain's National Coal Board last week. The increase was overdue (in three of the past four years, the nationalized coal tipples have run at a loss), but when it came, Britons set up a howl. "We are frankly staggered," complained the head of the Federation of British Industries (Britain's equivalent of the N.A.M.). Said a Tory M.P., pointing the accusing finger at Tory Minister of Fuel Geoffrey Lloyd: "You will finish up by bankrupting the country."

Even with...

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