HC Deb 09 July 1942 vol 381 cc948-50
The Minister of Fuel and Power (Major Lloyd George)

By leave of the House, I would like to inform hon. Members of the progress I have made to date in regard to the regional machinery of my Department as outlined in the recent White Paper on Coal. I have decided that under the regional organisation the country will be divided into eight coal-producing regions and four non-coal-producing regions. For each region I am appointing a Regional Controller, who will be my representative in his region.

The eight coal-producing regions will be as follow:—

  1. (1) Scotland.
  2. (2) Northumberland and Cumberland.
  3. (3) Durham.
  4. (4) Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales.
  5. (5) South and West Yorkshire.
  6. (6) Nottinghamshire, North and South Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
  7. (7) North and South Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Cannock Chase and Shropshire.
  8. (8) South Wales, Forest of Dean, Somerset and Bristol.

The Kent coalfield will be controlled direct from the headquarters of the Ministry.

The non-producing regions will broadly correspond with the Civil Defence Regions and will be known as the London and South-Eastern Region, the Southern Region, the South-Western Region and the Eastern Region.

I am able to give the House the names of the Regional Controllers of five of the coal-producing regions. These are:

For the Scottish Region, Lord Traprain, Chairman of the Scottish Special Housing Association.

For the South and West Yorkshire Region, Dr. H. S. Houldsworth, K.C., who has been acting as Regional Fuel and Power Controller under the Board of Trade for this area, and as Joint Coal Supplies Officer for the Midland (Amalgamated) District.

For the Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales Region, my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. Gordon Macdonald), who will take up this new appointment as soon as the necessary arrangements have been made.

For the Notts and Derby Region, Mr. F. Raymond Evershed, K.C., who has been Chairman of the Central Price Regulation Committee since its inception.

For the West Midlands Region, Alderman J. A. Webb, who is Area Secretary, Lancashire and Cheshire district of the Transport and General Workers' Union.

Mr. Cluse

Is the Minister aware that some of that information has already been published in the Press?

Major Lloyd George

I did see some in this morning's papers; I have no idea how it got there, and I am making inquiries.

Sir J. Lamb

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give any indication as to how soon he will be able to give the other names?

Major Lloyd George

I hope, very shortly.

Mr. Tinker

How many of the people referred to are closely connected with the coal industry, with the exception of the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald)?

Major Lloyd George

One who has had some connection with the coal industry hitherto, of course, is Dr. H. S. Houldsworth.

Mr. Lipson

Will all these regional representatives receive instructions to keep in close touch and co-operation with the regional representatives of the Ministry of Production in their respective areas?

Mr. G. Griffiths

Is not the representative for South and West Yorkshire directly interested in the coal industry from the owners' side?

Major Lloyd George

No, Sir. He was connected with the selling scheme before the war, but he has naturally severed all connection with it now.

Mr. Mander

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman state what the salaries of these gentlemen are to be?

Major Lloyd George

Their salaries are to be £2,000 a year.

Major Petherick

Will the hon. Member for Ince be able to continue to hold his seat in this House?

Major Lloyd George

No, Sir. The hon. Member for Ince will not do that. My hon. Friend will observe that I said that he will take up his appointment as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made.

Mr. A. Bevan

Will the cost of the salaries fall upon the Exchequer and not upon the industry?

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir.