HC Deb 18 June 1941 vol 372 cc658-9
71. Dr. Little

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, owing to the present shortage of coal in Ulster, he will arrange during the summer months to have a greatly increased quantity of coal shipped to Northern Ireland in order that the increased demand for winter consumption may be met; and whether he will arrange, so far as possible, that coal of a better quality be supplied?

The Secretary for Mines (Mr. David Grenfell)

The House is well aware of the importance which the Government attach to stocking coal during the summer against the needs of next winter, and in estimating the country's requirements For this purpose the needs of Northern Ireland were taken into account, the Northern Ireland Government being consulted. The fulfilment of these needs, as of those of the rest of the United Kingdom depends upon the result of the measures being taken to secure the necessary production from the mines.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there are certain miners in the Army who are not doing military work but pecking up fats, and will he see that they are liberated to get some coal?

Mr. Grenfell

I do not know what they are doing in the Army.

Dr. Little

Could the hon. Gentleman send a representative to Northern Ireland to inquire into the situation created by the shortage of coal?

Mr. Mainwaring

Why, in this great emergency, are steps being taken to take still more men from the mines?