HC Deb 08 July 1941 vol 373 cc11-2
21. Captain Strickland

asked the Secretary for Mines what improvement there has been in the output of household coal available for the city of Coventry in the month of June, 1941, as compared with May, 1941, and June, 1940?

The Secretary for Mines (Mr. David Grenfell)

Figures of house coal disposals to Coventry for the month of June are not yet available, but I am informed that there has been no deterioration in the position as compared with May. Any substantial improvement must necessarily depend upon increased output. The general control of deliveries which has recently been imposed is designed to ensure the equitable distribution of the supplies available.

Captain Strickland

Is the Minister satisfied that the restriction of one ton per month per household is not going to throw a very heavy burden on the delivery of coal in the winter months, such as we had last winter, which led to the complete dislocation of traffic on the railways?

Mr. Grenfell

The restriction of coal to one ton a month will ensure the equitable distribution for which the hon. and gallant Member and many other hon. Members have asked.

Sir A. Knox

Does this restriction not make it perfectly certain that there will be a breakdown in the winter? There was nearly a breakdown last winter, and now there will be an absolutely certain breakdown this winter.

Mr. Grenfell

No, Sir, it is intended to help. If 100 people get a ton each, it is better than 20 people geting five tons each.

Sir A. Knox

Is it not better to allow people who can do so to store coal?

Mr. Grenfell

People are asked to store coal. The bulk of people do not consume 5 cwts. a week during the summer months.

Mr. McKinlay

Is my hon. Friend aware that under the tenement system in Scotland many houses cannot store 5 cwts.?