HC Deb 24 November 1919 vol 121 cc1420-1
24. Mr. HAYDAY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that in many districts there is a shortage of coal in spite of the increase in output; it he can state whether the cause of this is due to bad transport, the holding up of stocks, or any action on the part of coal owners in piling up stocks against the eventuality of a dispute in the mining industry; and whether he will have inquiries made into this matter, and take whatever steps are necessary to secure a sufficient supply to householders?


The shortage of supplies of coal which exists iii certain districts is due mainly to lack of transport facilities. I have already had inquiries made, arid everything possible is being done to secure a satisfactory distribution of supplies of household coal. The Ministry of Transport have the matter in hand.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what quantity of coal was stacked during the railway strike, and whether that has been allowed to remain?


If the hon. Gentleman will put down a question, I have no doubt I can get the information.

Brigadier-General CROFT

In view of the fact that the difficulty is partly due to the shortage of trucks, is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the production of rolling stock is proceeding as rapidly as it possibly can?


It is very difficult to say I am satisfied with the rate of production of rolling stock, but a great deal is being done to get rolling stock, but there are great difficulties.

27. Captain BOWYER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the grave situation existing at Stony Stratford and at Hanslope, in North Bucks, owing to the shortage of coal; and whether he will arrange with the Coal Controller to take urgent steps to remedy the shortage?


A representative of the Coal Controller has recently visited the districts referred to by my lion, and gallant Friend, with a view to ascertaining the position as regards coal supplies, and steps will be taken to remedy the shortage as far as possible.