§ MR. COHEN () Islington, E.
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in view of the fact that Australian coal can be obtained at little more than half the price now being paid by the Admiralty for Welsh coal, and has been most successfully used by great English liners as well as by the United States Navy, he can inform the House why no Australian coal has been used for the British transports to the Transvaal.
§ *MR. MACARTNEY
The actual price of Australian coal compares favourably with Welsh, but when the cost of freight is added the comparison has not hitherto been in favour of the former. Offers, however, are now under consideration which approximate more closely to present prices, owing to the high rates now prevailing both for Welsh coal and freight from England.
Although Australian coal is being used by Her Majesty's ships in Australian waters for ordinary passages, reports from that station describe it as unsuitable for continuous steaming at high speeds.