Britain: Out of the Hole

Two years ago when he was tapped by Prime Minister Macmillan to boss Britain's nationalized coal industry, Labor M.P. Alfred Robens, 52, hardly seemed a promising choice. A dedicated socialist and onetime Minister of Labor under Clement Attlee, Robens had had no experience at all in running a big business. And the task before him was staggering. Burdened with uneconomic mines and archaic mining methods, Britain's coal industry had piled up a deficit of $227 million since its nationalization in 1947.

But strapping (6 ft., 200 lbs.) Alf Robens turned out to be the cleverest capitalist the British Labor Party...

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