HC Deb 11 August 1919 vol 119 cc862-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Stoke-on-Trent Corporation Gasworks are being compelled to purchase Durham coal, entailing extra strain upon railway transit and at a cost of 8s. per ton more than they were paying for local coal, and, in addition to this extra cost, there is a very high percentage of ash, causing difficulties in clearing the producers, dissatisfaction among coke purchasers and gas consumers, and that the ammonia cal liquor produced from Durham coal is. 10 gallons per ton less than is produced from local coal, causing in all an approximate loss of 14s. per ton upon Durham coal; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?


Since the coal produced in Staffordshire and other Midland areas is insufficient to meet the demands for local consumption it has been necessary to bring coal from Durham to meet the deficiency. As far as practicable the supplies of Durham coal have been equally distributed among the undertakings concerned, and under present circumstances it would not be possible to allow the Stoke- on-Trent Corporation gasworks to have more North Staffordshire coal unless it were diverted from other undertakings.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is coal to meet supply in the North Staffordshire area, and why should not the corporation be allowed the opportunity of buying coal near to their own door?


I shall be glad if the hon. and gallant Gentleman can give any useful information on this matter to the Board of Trade or to the Coal Controller.