HC Deb 03 March 1919 vol 113 cc8-9
10. Sir J. D. REES

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is possible to arrange, while coal is being exported to foreign countries, for the due provision of such quantity as is required for home consumption, and for its adequate distribution in districts not immediately adjacent to the sources of supply?


The export of coal from the United Kingdom has been controlled by licence since 1915 and the quantities which are released for export are reduced to the minimum, regard being had to the needs of the Allies and the securing of certain essential commodities and services from neutral countries. The supply of coal to districts not adjacent to sources of supply is provided for by the machinery in existence for controlling internal distribution.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that people are not allowed to order coal until the amount in their cellars is reduced to a quarter of a ton?

15. Major NEWMAN

asked the President of the Board of Trade if the increased salaries paid to those engaged in extracting coal in this country has allowed the United States of America to supply with coal foreign countries who, before the War, had accustomed themselves to drawing their supplies from the United Kingdom; whether the private consumer in Great Britain is suffering from a lack of coal, and can any portion of the coal formerly exported be made available for the use of the home consumer and temporarily relieve his necessity; and, if so, what measures the Coal Controller proposes to take to get a bigger supply to London?


The effect of increased costs on the future of the coal export trade is one that will presumably engage the serious attention of the Coal Industry Commission, but up to the present time it has been possible to dispose of all the coal available for export within the limits imposed on the one hand by the necessity of providing for home consumers and on the other by the supply of shipping. The export of coal is restricted to the minimum which must be provided having regard to the needs of our Allies and the necessity of obtaining certain essential commodities and services from neutral countries.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the London householder can get no coal to-day?


I am not aware that all the London householders cannot get it, but if the hon. and gallant Gentleman has any particular instance I will inquire into it.

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