HC Deb 18 June 1940 vol 362 c3
2. Captain Strickland

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he has any statement to make on the progress of the Ridley Committee on alternative fuels for internal combustion engines, and when their report may be expected?

Mr. Grenfell

Yes, Sir. The Committee on the Use of Home Produced Fuels in Internal Combustion Engines, of which Lord Ridley is chairman, has made good progress and has considered a large body of evidence. The committee has already forwarded to my Department certain interim recommendations, on which action has been taken, and I hope very shortly to receive a further report. In present circumstances, however, we shall necessarily have to consider the extent to which our industrial resources can properly be devoted to this kind of development.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Is the hon. Member giving consideration, at the same time, to the use of coal as such, for propelling vehicles?

Mr. Grenfell

Yes, Sir. Steam wagons are being used, the steam being raised by the consumption of crude coal. But this is an entirely different matter, which requires examination. The whole problem is being examined.

Sir J. Lamb

Is the Minister aware of the great reduction in the number of those wagons because they are not economical in regard to taxation?

Mr. Grenfell

That is not a matter for my Department.