Agents appointed to purchase coal for Government dumps are coal factors nominated by the Ministry's regional officers in the supplying coalfields. These agents are required to purchase coal in consultation with the Ministry's regional officers, charter vessels for coal to be transported by sea, consign the coal to the Ministry's contractors at the dumps, arrange for the issue of advice notes, ensure that the coal is delivered to the contractor and that it is the right quality and pay the colliery's accounts and the freight and toll charges. Seventy-nine purchasing agents have been employed this year to deal with consignments amounting to about 500,000 tons. Purchasing agents are remunerated on the basis of 4d. a ton for all railborne coal and 6d. a ton on all seaborne coal.