Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Supplies (Public Utility Undertakings).

– in the House of Commons on 17th July 1941.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

asked the Secretary for Mines what is the position of public utlity undertakings in the list of priorities for coal?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

The Coal Supply Priority List is confidential. Public utility undertakings occupy a high position on it, in view of the essential nature of their activities.

Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

Has it occurred to the hon. Gentleman that neither industry nor the population can carry on without water and that gas and electricity are also important? Why, therefore, is it that public utility undertakings are fifth in the list of priorities?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

The hon. Member must not assume that I am responsible. The list is made up by the Priority Committee, and all Departments are represented.

Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

Cannot the hon. Gentleman give information as to who made this stupid decision?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

My answer was that the list is confidential.

Mr. De la Bère:

Cannot the hon. Gentleman make the Inter-Departmental Committee realise something that is common sense?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

I do not think common sense is entirely excluded in the compiling of this list.

Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

In view of the fact that the Minister generally disclaims responsibility for any question of policy affecting his Department, should not Questions be addressed in future to a Cabinet Minister or to the Prime Minister?