Supplies, Coventry

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th April 1955.

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Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South 12:00 am, 4th April 1955

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware of public disquiet in Coventry at the shortage of coal; and what steps he is taking to deal with the situation.

Photo of Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks , Chichester

I am making inquiries and will write to the hon. Lady as soon as possible.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

Will the Minister try to find out whether this long delay in coal deliveries in Coventry is due to the shortage of staff in coal merchants' offices, or whether it is due to maldistribution?

Photo of Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks , Chichester

I have no doubt that the shortage of staff in the coal merchant' offices has something to do with it, but I think that in addition there' are special circumstances in the hon. Lady's constituency, which draws most of its coal from the Warwickshire coalfield, and production in that coalfield has been particularly bad this year.

Photo of Mr Thomas Brown Mr Thomas Brown , Ince

is the Minister satisfied with the distributive side of coal supplies? My experience is that the hold-up is on the distributive side and that it is this which is causing great anxiety. Would the Minister care to inquire into the distributive sector of the industry? I know it is in private hands, but nevertheless it ought to be able to supply coal to people when they need it, in view of the output.

Photo of Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks , Chichester

The hon. Gentleman is quite right in saying that a lot of difficulty has Iain during the cold weather on the distributive side, as the merchants have had great difficulty in meeting the demands. One of the causes is that, owing to full employment, there is no casual labour available at the employment exchanges to supplement the efforts of the coal porters.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Kidderminster

Is not the answer to this question to import the small additional quantity of coal that is wanted, namely, 2 million tons, in order to end this wretched system of house coal rationing.

Photo of Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks , Chichester

I think we have some Questions dealing with coal imports later on the Order Paper.