The photoelectric e.m.f. with p-type conductivity and the photodielectric effect were examined in specimens of a number of coals and coal microcomponents. These effects are largest in hard coal fusinite. Photosensitive materials show increased dielectric losses in the dark. The authors determined charge carrier mobility, and showed that the charge carriers are injected by oxygen in the presence of an electrolyte, and that the coals oxidise as in electrochemical corrosion.