HC Deb 28 June 1937 vol 325 c1630
31. Mr. David Adams

asked the First Commissioner of Works what diminution, if any, in the use of raw coal has been made in Government offices in Whitehall during the previous 12 months and when it is expected that the complete elimination of atmospheric pollution from this, source will be achieved?

Sir P. Sassoon

Raw bituminous coal represents 20 per cent. of the total amount of fuel consumed by Government offices in Whitehall, and there has been no material diminution in the use of this coal during the last 12 months. The extension of central heating is tending to eliminate atmospheric pollution by gradually reducing the number of open fireplaces, and smokeless fuel is used in these fireplaces whenever local circumstances make it possible without an undue increase in cost, but I regret that I am unable to forecast the date at which the elimination of atmospheric pollution from the use of raw bituminous coal will be achieved.

Mr. Adams

Does not the Minister see the absurdity of his Department being employed in cleansing the fabric of the Parliament building and of Westminster Abbey, while at the same time this smoke nuisance continues from offices which come under his Department?

Sir P. Sassoon

Smokeless fuel is used wherever the local circumstances permit, as long as it does not involve an unreasonable increase of cost.

Mr. Thorne

Would there be any difficulty in installing gas fires for use during the winter?

Sir P. Sassoon

I should like notice, of that question.

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