HC Deb 07 March 1944 vol 397 cc1848-9
3. Mr. Channon

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, as warmth ranks almost as high in importance as food in the case of elderly people and young children, he will devise a system in the coming months ensuring priority of small supplies of coal to those who, through years or infirmity, need this with special urgency.

Major Lloyd George

I would refer by hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Rochester (Captain Plugge) on 15th February. I would add that local fuel overseers have power to give priority to premises which are without fuel and to provide increased allowances in cases of exceptional hardship.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the Minister aware that although the fuel overseer in many cases is approached, he has not the power to enforce the provision of coal as far as the distributor is concerned; and is he also aware that many young children are going without warmth because there is no proper rationing system of coal, electricity and gas in this country?

Major Lloyd George

I am sure that my hon. Friend will realise that the last part of his question has nothing whatever to do with it. If there was a rationing system, the situation would be no better. The fact is that where there is hardship, the local fuel overseer has the power to take action. If my hon. Friend has a case in which nothing has happened, will he please let me know?