HC Deb 18 March 1941 vol 370 c12
25. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can explain the recent shortage of coal experienced in West Lothian; and whether effective steps are being taken to ensure adequate supplies in future?

The Secretary for Mines (Mr. David Grenfell)

From the inquiries I have so far been able to make, I am satisfied that there has been no general shortage of coal in West Lothian. Supplies have been coming forward regularly from the collieries and it would appear that any local shortages which may have occurred have been effectively met. I have no reason to believe that supplies of coal for current consumption will not be maintained. Investigations are still being made in certain cases which my hon. Friend has brought to my notice.

Mr. Mathers

Is the Minister aware that certain co-operative societies who had considerable stocks have had those stocks depleted, because of the lack of supplies; and is he also aware that, while stocks are not coming forward, the public look to him to ensure their supplies?

Mr. Grenfell

I am surprised that the hon. Member should rise to give me that information. It is perfectly true that stocks are being used in all parts of the country. They were built up for the purpose of securing a reserve which would be available in the difficult winter period.