(by Private Notice) asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the prospective shortage of coal supplies during the coming winter, the system of rationing will be applied to the miners as it is to other sections of the community, and whether steps will be taken by the Government to facilitate the importation of foreign coal?
The miners are definitely excluded from the Household Fuel and Lighting Order, and I shall have to consider whether it will be practicable to introduce rationing in their case. With reference to the second part of the question, I hope that it will not be necessary to import foreign coal if an appreciation of the present and probable future position disclosed yesterday results in a determination on the part of the miners to secure an improvement in the output of coal in this country.
Is the hon. Member aware that in nearly every mining area the men work in shifts and it is necessary to keep fires burning all day and night? Therefore they require larger quantities of coal.