Coke Supplies

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th February 1951.

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Photo of Mr Albert Davies Mr Albert Davies , Stoke-on-Trent North 12:00 am, 12th February 1951

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power (1) to what extent supplies of foundry coke are falling short of demands; and what steps are being taken to secure improvement on the present position;

(2) if he is aware that engineering firms in North Staffordshire engaged on urgent Government contracts and exports, have inadequate supplies of foundry coke for current and future needs; and whether he will take special steps to effect an early improvement to avoid closing down foundries.

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

About 2,500 tons per week more coke have been supplied dur- ing the last five weeks to the foundry and engineering trades than in the corresponding period a year ago. It is estimated, however, that the demand for foundry coke has increased since then by 15 per cent., and there have in recent weeks been difficulties in the transport of coke by rail. Special measures have been taken—for example, the movement of coke by road, where practicable, to meet the current needs of consumers. New coke ovens are now under construction, and some of them will come into production within the next three months.

Photo of Mr Albert Davies Mr Albert Davies , Stoke-on-Trent North

What about the firms to which I have drawn special attention in North Staffordshire, which are on urgent Government contracts? Is my hon. Friend able to do anything for them in the meantime?

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

The programming authority in the region will give attention to any specific cases which reach their notice.

Photo of Captain Robert Ryder Captain Robert Ryder , Merton and Morden

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that many industrial premises in the London area now have insufficient coke to maintain normal heating; and what action is he taking to increase the supply of coke to this area.

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

I am advised that supplies in the London area permit deliveries of 90 per cent. of last winter's requirements to industrial premises which are normally supplied with coke. Transport or other difficulties may lead to interruption of supplies, and if any manufacturers are in difficulties they should get in touch with the district coke representative.

Photo of Captain Robert Ryder Captain Robert Ryder , Merton and Morden

Can we be assured that these establishments are pot short of supplies? Is the Minister aware that the export of coke from the London area has been restarted? Is it wise to do this?

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

If there are establishments which find themselves in difficulties, I am perfectly certain that the district coke representative will see them through those difficulties.