§ 31. Mr. HOUSTON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the British-owned Argentine railways and British coaling depots in the River Plate have been instructed by the Government to purchase 100,000 tons of coal per month for several months ahead in the United States, and that British steamers will be requisitioned for the carriage of this coal; if so, whether such action is due to shortage of labour in South Wales coal mines, or to difficulty of transport from the mines to port of shipment, or to the congestion of the Bristol Channel coal ports; and, if not, what is the reason for action which will in future be detrimental to the coal export trade of this country?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I am afraid it would not be possible to explain the arrangements made and the reason for making them in answer to a question, but if the hon. Gentleman will call at the Board of Trade we shall be happy to give him full information.