HC Deb 26 April 1920 vol 128 cc812-3
10. Major O'NEILL

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the shortage of domestic coal and of anthracite for use in gas engines in the town of Ballymena, County Antrim; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?


I am informed that a complaint of shortage at Ballymena has been received by the Irish Branch of the Coal Mines Department, but that a request for information to show which sources of supply were failing has not produced any reply. The normal supplies of coal to Ireland have recently been augmented considerably, and a substantial proportion has been sent to Belfast for distribution in the Northern Area. With regard to anthracite, the available supplies are being distributed to the best advantage, priority being given to householders, public utility undertakings and to food-producing industries.


Is it not a fact that this supply of coal relatively is still very much smaller in Ireland than in other parts of the United Kingdom?


It is a smaller average everywhere; I cannot say for Ireland.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the shortage for the three months ending March this year is not 50,000 tons in excess of that for 1917?


I cannot say off-hand, but the hon. Gentleman can put down a question.