58. Fliģht-Lieutenant Teelinģ
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps he is taking to ease the coal distribution holdup which has occurred in Brighton and Hove; and whether residents who have not been able to obtain their February allowances during the month will have them made up in March.
§ Mr. Tom Smith
My right hon. Friend has arranged for the consignment of additional supplies of coal to the Brighton and Hove area, but in view of the temporarily difficult supply position in this area, arrangements have been made for the delivery of coal on a strict priority basis. Consumers ordering coal will therefore be required to make a declaration of the stocks they hold, and in addition a local restriction will be imposed under the Coal Distribution Order, 1943, providing that no person may acquire coal if he has more than 5 cwts. in stock, or if the delivery would raise his stock above that figure. This restriction will apply to Brighton, Hove, Portslade, Southwick and Shoreham. With regard to the second part of the Question, my right hon. and gallant Friend has repeatedly emphasised that the quantity of coal which may be obtained in a prescribed period is not a ration, and that there can be no question, particularly in view of the present supply and transport position, of making any concession in this direction.
Mr. J. J. Davidson
Would my hon. Friend suggest to the Minister that it is of vital national importance that the areas 1582 in England, Scotland and Wales should get coal? Will be suggest that home fuel comes first, and will he divert some of the Argentine coal to some of these areas?