Coal Supply and European Rearmament

April 4, 1952

Report Outline
Shortage of Vital Coal in Western Europe
Difficulties of Europe's Coal Industry
Remedies for Europe's Coal Dilemma
Special Focus

Shortage of Vital Coal in Western Europe

Legs of Output Behind Industrial Requirements

Lagging production of coal, principal source of power for European industry, is one of the most critical handicaps to rapid rearmament of the countries of Western Europe. Failure of coal output to keep pace with rising energy requirements has forced the free nations of Europe to resume costly importation of coal from the United States. The need for shipments across the Atlantic is compelling attention to basic problems of European coal supply—problems which must be dealt with if West European governments are to meet their defense goals and at the same time to make desired improvements in standards of living.

Europe has ample coal reserves and traditionally has been self-sufficient in solid fuels. Before World War II, Western Europe produced enough coal and coke to meet all basic domestic requirements and to export substantial quantities to other parts of the world. Only small amounts were imported from nearby continental sources such as Poland and Czechoslovakia.

Because of wartime dislocations in mining, Western Europe needed large coal shipments from the United States for four years after V-E day. By early in 1950, however, the postwar shortage appeared to have been overcome. Under the European recovery program, considerable progress had been made in reviving West European coal production. Although the output still was below the prewar level, it was sufficient to cover current demand. West European industrial production was then running some 20 per cent above 1938, but marked development in the use of hydroelectricity and liquid fuels, together with more efficient utilization of coal, enabled Western Europe to dispense with heavy imports of United States coal.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Coal Industry
Jun. 17, 2016  Coal Industry's Future
Jun. 24, 2011  Mine Safety
Oct. 05, 2007  Coal's Comeback
Mar. 17, 2006  Coal Mining Safety
Apr. 21, 1978  America's Coal Economy
Oct. 25, 1974  Coal Negotiations
Nov. 19, 1954  Coal in Trouble
Apr. 04, 1952  Coal Supply and European Rearmament
Jan. 22, 1947  Labor Costs and the Future of Coal
Jul. 24, 1935  Stabilization of the Bituminous Coal Industry
Jan. 01, 1929  The Anthracite Coal Situation
Dec. 01, 1928  The Bituminous Coal Situation
Jun. 30, 1927  The Bituminous Coal Strike
Aug. 15, 1925  The Bituminous Coal Problem
Aug. 01, 1925  Strike Emergencies and The President
Jul. 25, 1925  Miners' Wages and the Cost of Anthracite
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Regional Political Affairs: Europe