§ 43. Mr. FREEMAN
asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been called to the fact that 10 times more coal described as Derby Brights is sold by London coal merchants than is produced at the collieries; whether he will take steps to ensure that all kinds of coal sold shall be accurately described by all those concerned in the selling and delivery of coal; and whether he will outline what steps he proposes to take to protect the public in this matter?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
While in its original sense "Derby Brights" was no doubt applicable only to coal produced in Derbyshire, the term has come to be regarded by the trade and by consumers as describing coal of a kind having certain characteristics, which may be possessed also by coal produced in counties bordering on Derbyshire.
§ Mr. FREEMAN
Will my hon. Friend consider the desirability of securing an accurate description of coal produced under the quota system, at any rate giving the county of origin, instead of allowing any old rubbish to be described as "Derby Brights"?
§ Mr. BROCKWAY
Do the miners who produce this coal benefit from the increased price that is charged for it?
§ 44. Lieut. Commander KENWORTHY
asked the Secretary for Mines whether any difficulty is now being experienced at any of the ports in the Kingdom in obtaining coal for export and bunkers under the quota system; and whether he has had any complaints during this quarter from the North-East Coast?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I am advised that there is now no difficulty in obtaining supplies in any port. It will be appreciated that under ordinary conditions of trade, occasional difficulties in obtaining supplies of coal are alleged. These are frequently due to the inability of buyers and sellers to agree on price. I have received no specific complaint this quarter from the North-East Coast, but I am sending my hon. and gallant Friend a copy of the reply that I have sent to a general complaint, unsupported by evidence, from the British Coasting and Near Trades Shipowners' Association.
§ 57. Mr. WOMERSLEY
asked the Secretary for Mines if he has considered the resolution submitted by the British Coasting and Near Trades Shipowners' Association protesting against the provisions of Part I of the Coal Mines Act, 1930, and alleging that serious injury to British coastwise shipping has been caused thereby; and will he have inquiries made into this matter?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I have no evidence to support the allegation contained in the resolution passed by the British Coasting and Near Trades Shipowners' Association, and I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a letter which I have sent to the Association.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there has been a large drop in the export of coal from Humber ports coastwise and. consequently, a great deal of unemployment among coal workers?