§ 78. Sir W. Davison
asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been called to the fact that the average price of coal purchased by the Northmet Power Company has increased since 1936 by 44 per cent.; and what is the cause of so large an increase in the price of coal in so short a time?
§ Mr. James Stuart
I have been asked to reply in the absence of my hon. Friend, who is indisposed. The Secretary for Mines has seen a report that the average price of coal purchased by the Northmet Power Company had increased between 1936 and August, 1939, by the amount stated. As regards the second part of the Question, he would point out that over the period concerned there was a general increase in the price of coal due to the increased demand which was largely concentrated on the types of coal used by electricity works. In addition, however, he understands that after 1936 the Northmet Power Company replaced a substantial proportion of their supplies by higher quality coals.
§ Sir W. Davison
Is not this an enormous increase, 44 per cent.? I understand that the nature of the coal was very much the same between 1936 and 1939, and 44 per cent. increase is astonishing.
§ Sir H. Williams
Is it not the case that this increase is entirely the result of the selling scheme under the Coal Mines Act, 1930?