asked the Secretary for Mines (1) what improved equipment has been established at the various docks in South Wales since 1920 to save breakages in sized coals shipped; and what is the enhanced value of coal by the improved method of loading;
(2) what is the difference in time between loading ships by the old method of the shute direct from the wagons and the method of tipping by the escalators;
(3) what number of coal tips there are in the South Wales coalfield at Newport, Cardiff, Barry, Port Talbot and Swansea docks; and what number of escalators have been put in at each of the docks separately, or have any other devices been erected for saving the breakage of large coal unloaded from trucks to ships?
I have been asked to answer these questions. As the information requested involves a number of figures, I propose to circulate that part of my answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The figures represent existing equipment at South Wales, but as regards the whole question of the provision of additional anti-breakage appliances in South Wales and in other exporting districts, I would refer to the answer given on 30th April by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport in reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell). With regard to the effect of the improved appliances, I am advised that it is difficult to measure with precision the extent to which the value of the coal is enhanced by their use. The use of the escalators, I am informed, has little adverse effect on the speed of loading.