Lighting and Heating (Consumption)

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th October 1944.

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Photo of Sir Douglas Hacking Sir Douglas Hacking , Chorley 12:00 am, 10th October 1944

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he can estimate the amount of extra coal which will be consumed as a result of the increase in electric and gas lighting recently sanctioned by the Minister of Home Security; and whether he is satisfied that this extra coal can be provided without serious diminution of the amount reasonably required for purposes of heating.

Major Lloyd George:

As I informed my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Stafford (Major Thorneycroft) on 3rd October, it is not possible to estimate the amount of additional fuel which will be consumed as a result of the recent relaxation of lighting restrictions. If street lighting were resumed on a pre-war scale it would involve the consumption of additional coal of the order of a million tons a year. At present, however, street lighting is on a much more limited scale than in pre-war days and I have arranged to find the additional supplies required.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hacking Sir Douglas Hacking , Chorley

In view of the fact that a large amount of coal is to be used for extra lighting, which we all welcome, will my right hon. and gallant Friend consider very carefully the relative value of heat and light?

Major Lloyd George:

I do not want to go into that question now. My right hon. Friend has said that we all welcome the increased lighting, and I think that is a true observation; the whole country does welcome it, and I wish to do all I can to ease some of the strain from which our people have been suffering now for over five years of war. The amount of fuel involved is not comparable with what is required in peace-time, and I think it is a national service to find it.

Photo of Mr William Woolley Mr William Woolley , Spen Valley

Will my right hon. Friend ask local authorities to take every precaution to see that street lights are not left burning throughout the day?

Major Lloyd George:

My hon. and gallant Friend will probably be surprised to hear that some street lights have been burning throughout the day practically throughout the war. That is because of the system in use. I am most anxious that every possible economy should be exercised now that the relaxation has been allowed, and I am perfectly satisfied that local authorities will do that.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that so far as the House of Commons Library is concerned, we could save fuel by having no fires but central heating?