HC Deb 19 June 1941 vol 372 c817
53. Mr. Tinker

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider the position of coal as one of the essential commodities now required, and the stabilising of the price to be paid by consumers, and anything beyond this fixed price to be met by a subsidy from the State such as is done in several other essential things?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kinsley Wood)

On the general issues involved in this Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the Reply I gave to the hon. Member for Hendon (Sir R. Blair) on the 17th instant. I could not give any such unconditional undertaking as is suggested in the Question, nor could I decide whether the circumstances justified a subsidy to coal without taking into account the position of other essential commodities and services.

Mr. Tinker

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the present position is very unsatisfactory? Prices go up, and the public feel that they are not being dealt with properly?

Sir K. Wood

I cannot accept that as an accurate statement.

Mr. Levy

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that comparatively little coal is being distributed and that, unless the matter is dealt with, many munitions works will close down for lack of coal before long?

Sir K. Wood

The Question relates to a subsidy on coal.