Smoke Control (Appliances)

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th December 1969.

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Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen 12:00 am, 16th December 1969

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to enable him to make grants to householders wishing to install smokeless appliances whether or not their properties are included in smoke control areas.

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

No, Sir. Payment of grant in these circumstances might be abortive.

Photo of Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke Mr Charles Fletcher-Cooke , Darwen

Was this not one of the strong recommendations of the Hunt Report on intermediate areas? Is the hon. Gentleman saying that the report was wrong to make such a recommendation?

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

I am saying that the payment of grants now makes a legal requirement on the recipient to burn smokeless fuel, but if the grant were paid in areas where there has been no order, there would be no guarantee that the fuel to be used in future would be smokeless fuel. The advantage to the individual who did not carry out a conversion to smokeless fuel would be very noticeable.

Photo of Mr George Jeger Mr George Jeger , Goole

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is considerable difficulty in designated smoke control areas in getting smokeless fuels, and that a number of local authorities are clamouring to have their orders suspended until more supplies of smokeless fuel are available?

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

I am aware that there are difficulties.

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Chichester

Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied with the speed of progress being made outside London?

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

On the whole, yes. We have reviewed the matter from time to time and encourage conversion and the institution of orders wherever possible.