HC Deb 19 May 1931 vol 252 cc1768-9

asked the Secretary for Mines if he will take steps to secure that in the case of all coal sold for household and industrial purposes the pit head selling price is also stated on the invoices in order that purchasers may know the difference between pit-head selling prices and retail or contract prices?


I have carefully considered my hon. Friend's suggestion, but I do not think it is possible to put it into practice.


Having regard to the fact that there is a desire that householders shall not be robbed, and as they have the knowledge that they are robbed, ought it not to be shown exactly by how much they are robbed?


asked the Secretary for Mines how the coal delivered in London and charged to the House of Commons at 32s. per ton compares with coal charged to private consumers at prices varying from 45s. to 50s. per ton at the present time?


I am advised by my right hon. Friend the First Commissioner of Works that the figure of 32s. per ton is the average cost of coal delivered to all Civil Government buildings in London, and includes ordinary overhead charges, but no allowance for headquarters officials. The corresponding figure for the class of coal delivered to the House of Commons is 38s. 6d. per ton. Coal believed to be of a similar quality to the latter is retailed in Central London at prices ranging from 45s. to 50s. per ton, but I do not know the cost of the various items which make up these prices. The facilities for spreading over the deliveries throughout the year, keenness of buying and wide competition, are factors which are undoubtedly reflected in the low delivery cost to Government buildings.


Does not that indicate a very wide discrepancy between the price charged to the Government and that charged by private enterprise to private consumers?