HC Deb 01 March 1927 vol 203 cc215-6
55. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many Departments of the Government purchase their supplies of coal separately, which these Departments are, and how the other Departments purchase their coal; and what was the total amount of coal purchased on behalf of His Majesty's Government during 1925 and 1926?


I have been asked to reply. Each of the three Service Departments (Admiralty, War Office, and Air Ministry) make their own arrangements for the purchase of coal. The purchase of coal in respect of Civil Departments generally is made by the Office of Works, with a few minor exceptions due to special circumstances.

The total amount of coal purchased on behalf of His Majesty's Government during 1925 and 1926 was 1,459,000 tons and 1,262,000 tons, respectively.

In addition, during the coal emergency in 1926, the Mines Department, which normally does not buy any coal, purchased 1,927,931 tons for issue to small public utility undertakings and other essential services.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been drawn to the reply just given to a question put to his Department, and has he observed that we have at least four Departments purchasing coal, and probably competing against each other, and does he not think that this is a great opportunity for saving money?


I was under the impression that the purchases of coal had been made in an entirely businesslike manner, and -with very great advantage to the public.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is is not obvious that there must be greater efficiency if one buying Department purchased for all these Departments?


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the experiment of purchasing a coal mine?