HC Deb 15 June 1917 vol 94 c1298
18. Captain BARNETT

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in order to provide against the probable shortage of fuel in London next winter, the Coal Mines Department will arrange to store large supplies of coal during the summer months in Regent's Park and other suitable open spaces, so that the same may be available for purchase at reasonable prices either by coal merchants or by consumers who are in a position to take delivery of the coal in large or small quantities?

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the Board of Trade (Mr. G. Roberts)

The Controller of Coal Mines is investigating the question of providing suitable sites for storing emergency supplies of house coal, but 'he does not think that public parks could be suitably utilised for this purpose.


Does the hon. Member know that last year this matter was discussed at a conference in September, and it was then found impossible to get large supplies in London.


I am aware of the difficulties that arose last winter, but I have stated repeatedly that the Coal Controller has this matter under consideration, and the question of providing suitable storage is engaging his special attention.


Can my hon. Friend say what steps the President is taking to have the coal transported? Is he aware that a great many of us who want to follow the advice of the Coal Controller and get coal in now cannot get it because there is not the transport?


Transport is one of the chief difficulties which confront the Coal Controller, but the point is engaging his attention, and I am hopeful that we shall be able to solve it.


Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the advisability of commandeering, without rent, any building sites in different parts of London?


It would be as well to put all these suggestions on the Paper.