HC Deb 27 February 1941 vol 369 c605
1. Mr. Mander

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the difficulty being created in the West Midlands in the supply of coal to works and individuals by reason of the calling up of the staff of coal merchants; that this staff cannot be replaced by women; and whether he will take steps to prevent the resulting interruptions to the supply of this essential commodity?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Assheton)

Coal carmen are already reserved under the Schedule of Reserved Occupations at the age of 25 or 30, according to the type of vehicle. In addition, a temporary arrangement is in force under which coal merchants may, on application through the local fuel overseer, secure that other essential employés in the coal distributive trade will not be called up for the present.

Mr. Gordon Macdonald

Would it not be an advantage if we had a more efficient method of distributing coal?

Mr. Assheton

I think that is more a question for the Minister of Mines.