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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.