§ 3. Mr. Ammon
asked the Secretary for Mines whether the permitted increase in the price of coal of 2d. per cwt. in two cwt. lots and less, as set out in L.F.O. Circular No. 49, dated 20th February, is additional to similar increases operating prior to that date; if so, is he aware that such increase means a total extra charge to the small consumer of 5s. to 6s. per ton; and on what grounds is such increase justified?
§ Mr. Lloyd
The circular to which the hon. Member refers authorised local fuel overseers to increase retail coal prices by 2d. per cwt. as a temporary measure. The increase is to operate only in areas where deliveries are restricted to 2 cwts. per week, and only while this restriction continues. The present increase was 1863 authorised after careful examination in my Department, and represents the increased costs of distribution under present conditions arising out of the shortage of supplies and the necessity for restricting deliveries to small quantities.
§ Mr. Paling
Why should the extra cost always be put on those people who are least able to bear it? If it is necessary that there should be any extra cost, why is it not properly distributed?