Domestic Supplies, London Area.

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 3rd March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Norman Bower Mr Norman Bower , Harrow

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been drawn to the shortage of coal in the Harrow area; and whether he will allow the Government dump in the locality to be used in order to alleviate the position?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Lewisham West

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware of the coal shortage on the Honor Oak Estate, Brockley; and whether he can make urgent arrangements to speed up deliveries of coal to, o people who are in need of it in this and neighbouring districts of South-east London?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

On the general house coal situation in the London area I would refer to the Answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Camberwell (Mr. Ammon) on 24th February and to the public announcement made on Saturday last in connection with the imposition of further restrictions in the London area to ensure equitable distribution of supplies. Government dumps in the Harrow and other areas have been opened immediately wherever there is a real shortage of supplies. The House Coal Officer for London arranged for a special consignment of coal to be delivered to the Honor Oak Estate, Brockley, on Friday last.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Lewisham West

Will the hon. Gentleman give an absolute priority for the next fortnight or so for deliveries, not to people who have half a ton of coal still in the house, but to people who have no coal whatever?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

That is the intention under the Order.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the main difficulty is transport and distribution, and that in most cases one is informed that one can have no delivery at all for a month because of the lack of transport?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

There will be no delay in delivering the small quantities of coal needed by the smaller consumers, to whom it is intended to give priority. I have no doubt they will be supplied.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I myself had to go out for coal yesterday, and in view of the appalling situation which exists, will he not introduce a national board for a complete organisation of the industry, instead of leaving it in the chaotic condition in which it is now?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree that the appointment of a national board would not stop his having to go out if he has no coal in the house.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

Can the hon. Gentleman state the rights of a person who has no coal, and who is registered with a coal dealer, but whose dealer refuses to give him 1 cwt. a week?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

We have already endeavoured to advise them. There is a fuel officer in every area, and I recommend all people who need coal and who have any difficulty in these matters to see the fuel officer.