HC Deb 22 April 1941 vol 371 cc5-6
5. Mr. David Adams

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that Newcastle coal brokers are refusing new business; that further export licences are being withheld; that buyers for coal to Portugal and South America cannot be supplied from North Country producers; and when this position will be rectified?

Mr. Grenfell

Yes, Sir. With an increasing demand for coal in this country we shall have to make sure that our own requirements are first supplied. Steps are being taken to secure an increase in output and thus render a larger tonnage available for export.

Mr. Adams

Does the Minister not agree that the shortage of coal for export is due to short-sightedness on the part of the Mines Department?

Mr. Grenfell

I am not sure that that is a right comment. There is no short-sightedness in my Department. We have always urged that the output should be raised, and we cannot raise the output unless the men are there.

Miss Ward

Is the Minister satisfied that transport arrangements are now in good order?

Mr. Grenfell

They are better, and that is why I am making a special effort to increase the production of the mines.