HC Deb 19 December 1944 vol 406 c1607
33. Mr. Tinker

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will make a statement on the position regarding coal being sent overseas to the war fronts, and the effect it is having on home distribution.

Mr. T. Smith

Coal is being shipped overseas to the war fronts to meet operational needs and essential civilian needs, as determined by the military authorities, in so far as these cannot be met from indigenous production. In addition, some opencast coal is being shipped to North Africa. Provided rigorous economy in the use of fuel is exercised by consumers in this country, I consider that the assistance we are giving to our Forces overseas can be met, in addition to meeting our minimum home demands.

Mr. Tinker

Ought not the public to be made aware where the coal is going? The continued restrictions are hitting householders very hard, and they should know what is happening to the coal.

Mr. Smith

Although I cannot give quantities and places at the moment, it can be said that no coal is going overseas except what is absolutely essential.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the fact that coal is being sent to the war front, and stones are being reserved for the home front?