HC Deb 16 February 1944 vol 397 cc183-4
61. Colonel Greenwell

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if his attention has been drawn to the fact that consignments of coal from the North-East for destinations on the South Coast and in London have recently been transported by rail when sea transport was available; and if, in view of the present pressure on the railway systems, he will ensure that all coal possible is carried by sea.

Mr. T. Smith

It is definitely the policy of my Ministry to make the fullest possible use of sea transport, but rail transport from the North-East to the destinations referred to by my honourable and gallant Friend cannot be entirely avoided. There are limits to the amount of shipping available for the South Coast and to the volume of traffic that can be dealt with through the London Docks. There would also be handling difficulties at some of the works, which at present receive their coal by rail direct, if it were transferred to sea. I have, however, emphasised my instructions that the railborne traffic must be kept to the minimum consistent with the maintenance of essential supplies.

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