Coal Prices.

Oral Answers to Questions — Fuel and Power. – in the House of Commons on 8th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether Parliament will have the opportunity of examining and discussing the increase of 3s. per ton in the price of coal; and will he refrain from increasing the price until they have done so?

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

As my hon. Friend is aware, the increase referred to was authorised from 3rd July and cannot now be suspended or revoked without causing general confusion.

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

Does that mean that Parliament will not have a chance to discuss this matter? It means that the cost of living will be increased by a direct rise in prices, whereas we were promised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the cost of living would not increase and that it would be governed by Parliament.

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

The increase was decided upon after full consultation with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. With regard to the other matter, which is a border question, that is a question for the Government rather than for my Department.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Are we to understand it is finally settled that the increase is to be imposed in this way, and that the question of a subsidy cannot now be raised? Is that finally disposed of?

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

I think the hon. Member can take it that authorisation has been given for the payment of this increase in order to meet extra costs in the industry. I will convey to my right hon. Friend the suggestion my hon. Friend has made.