§ 14. Mr. PERCY HARRIS (Leicester, Harborough)
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that it is difficult to get small supplies of coal in working-class districts of London owing to the difficulty of haulage; and whether he will endeavour to make arrangements with the War Office to get the use of Army motors durng the winter months to assist in the distribution of coal?
I am aware that difficulties have been experienced in delivering coal in certain districts. At the request of the London Coal Merchants' Retail Prices Committee arrangements have been made with the War Office for the temporary loan of some military motor 255 wagons to assist in the distribution. I should like to mention that Messrs. William Cory and Son have been of great assistance in providing coal for special distribution and making the necessary arrangements with the merchants.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Would it be impossible to consider the extension of the same facilities to provinces where there is the same shortage?
The whole problem is under consideration, and we will do what we can to facilitate distribution.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in cases where motor lorries are lent by the War Office, the coal merchants are entitled to charge a price that covers the cost of carriage by them?
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that private individuals cannot possibly get coal at the present time owing to the fact that the Government have commandeered all the coal for their own purpose; cannot the hon. Gentleman make such provision as will enable private persons to obtain supplies of coal?