HC Deb 13 April 1937 vol 322 cc769-70
22. Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle

asked the Secretary for Mines by how many tons Tyneside shipments of bunker coal were down in 1936, as compared with 1935, owing to the shortage of bunker coal available; and whether it is proposed to take steps to make larger supplies of bunker coal available on the Tyneside?

Captain Crookshank

The total shipments of bunker coal from Newcastle (including North and South Shields) were 88,476 tons less in 1936 than in 1935, but I have no reason to believe that this was due to shortage of coal. My answer to the next question by my hon. Friend, deals with the second part of this, question.

23. Sir N. Grattan-Doyle

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that a shortage of coal available for bunkers in the United Kingdom has compelled vessels to bunker abroad; and whether he proposes to take steps to secure that larger supplies of bunker coal shall be made available at United Kingdom ports?

Captain Crookshank

I am aware that earlier this year difficulties in obtaining supplies of bunker coals were experienced. To some extent this was due to the effects of the influenza epidemic among mine-workers. I am not aware of any recent cases where ships have been compelled to bunker abroad because supplies are not available in this country. I am continually impressing upon the colliery owners the need for taking every, step which would increase supplies of coal.

Mr. Batey

If there is difficulty in Northumberland and Durham in getting coal, will the Minister do anything to try to get the pits reopened?

Captain Crookshank

Yes, Sir, that was what I referred to when I said that I was continually impressing upon colliery owners the need for taking every step to increase supplies.