§ 44. Mr. P. OLIVER
asked the Secretary for Mines whether the increase of 2s. a ton in the price of house coal in London on 1st October was the result of an increase in the pithead price of coal; and what steps he is taking to prevent undue increases in the retail price of house coal?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Foot)
I am informed that the increase of 2s. a ton in the retail price of house coal in London on 1st October was the result of an increase in the pithead price of coal by a like amount. With regard to the second part of the question, a deputation from the Coal Merchants' Federation of Great Britain met me at my request on Thursday last. After stating their intention to take all steps possible to prevent the exploitation of the present situation, they gave me a definite assurance that the members of the federation, who represent an overwhelming majority of the house coal tonnage of the country, would make no increases in retail house coal prices unless there were corresponding increases in pithead prices.
Does the hon. Gentleman know that last year the same increase took place without any corresponding increase of pit-head prices?