An unhappy exception in the generally flourishing economies of Western Europe is the coal glut; mountains of coal rise high alongside the smoking industrial chimneys. More than 14 million surplus tons clog Germany's Ruhr, and 20,000 miners have been laid off. Continued production at Belgium's notoriously uneconomic Borinage shafts (TIME, March 2) added to the stocks of 7,000,000 tons of coal already piled up in Belgium, so that, as one coal producer put it, "we literally have no more room anywhere to put the coal we produce which nobody will buy."

The glut is giving the six-nation European Coal and Steel...

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