HC Deb 17 June 1892 vol 5 cc1468-9
MR. BAIRD (Glasgow, Central)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the difference of price between Scotch and Welsh steam coal in the Clyde and Forth amounts to between five and seven shillings per ton in favour of the former; and whether, as the best Scotch steam coal is fairly free from smoke, and perfectly suitable for cruising, he will, if Her Majesty's Fleet visits the coast of Scotland this year, order the ships to coal there, and give the Scotch coal a full and effective trial?


Welsh coal supplied in the Clyde and Forth is more expensive than Scotch coal, but this additional expense is assured to be more than balanced by the advantages derived from the use of Welsh steam coal. The long and care- ful trials made in 1889 fully demonstrated the superiority of Welsh coal for steaming purposes, and no further trial is likely to reverse that conclusion.

MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that, as the result of tests made about the year 1866, it was decided that one-third Welsh and two-thirds North Country or Scotch steam coal was the best for uniform as well as rapid combustion, and that a Minute was then issued to that effect, which was acted upon for some years; and whether he can state when and for what reasons the change was made?


A certain mixture of Welsh and North Country coal—but not in the proportions stated in the question—was ordered, in 1869, to be used on board Her Majesty's ships, but the use of this fuel was found to be so unsatisfactory, and met with such general condemnation in the Service, that, in the year 1887, it was definitely decided that North Country coal should be no longer supplied for steaming purposes in the Navy. The reasons for the disuse of the North Country coal were fully explained by me in 1889 to a deputation of Members of this House and representatives of the North Country mining industry.