HC Deb 13 April 1937 vol 322 cc767-8
13. Mr. Magnay

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that the price of gas coal for public utility under-takings in the Northumberland and Cumberland areas has been increased by 7s. per ton, as against the price ruling in November, 1935, an increase of 5o per cent. upon the previous pit-head price; and, seeing that this increase must raise the price of gas to all consumers, including hirers of slot meters, what measures does he propose to take to safeguard the interests of such consumers?

Captain Crookshank

I have been informed that certain purchases made recently by gas undertakings in these areas have been at prices which represent increases up to 7s. per ton over the price in 1935. If those undertakings, or any consumer of gas affected, consider that the prices are unreasonable and that they are a result of the district selling schemes, the matter can be referred to the District Committee of Investigation set up under Section 5 of the Act of 1930.

Mr. Shinwell

Is there any reason to believe that the miners have derived a proportionate benefit?

Captain Crookshank

Oh, yes.

Mr. T. Williams

Is the hon. and gallant Member aware that while Nottinghamshire miners receive 10 per cent. increase, Nottinghamshire coalowners received 80 per cent. in the same months?

Captain Crookshank

This question deals with Northumberland and Cumberland.

Mr. Williams

Is the hon. and gallant Member not aware that there is a relationship between all the coal fields?