HC Deb 19 December 1946 vol 431 cc2155-6
32. Mr. Cooper

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps he proposes to take to obtain an economy in the coal consumed for domestic heating and lighting so that the risk of further cuts during the winter months for industrial purposes can be avoided.

Mr. Shinwell

Every effort has been made to effect economies in the consumption of coal, including an appeal to domestic users to exercise the greatest care in the consumption of gas and electricity.

Mr. Cooper

May I ask the Minister if he would consider the advisability of introducing an increased domestic tariff so as to encourage these economies?

Mr. Shinwell

If we increase the domestic tariff, we must do so at the expense of the industrial users.

Mr. David Renton

Will the Minister say to what extent he hopes to save fuel oil by an increased production of smokeless fuel for domestic purposes?

Mr. Shinwell

We should be very glad indeed to use smokeless fuel in greater measures, but we have to produce it before we can use it.

Mrs. Leah Manning

Will the Minister consult the Minister of Supply about the installation of closed grates in all the new housing estates rather than the open grates which are supplied at the present time?

Mr. Shinwell

These matters are the subject of discussion between the Ministry of Supply and the Ministry of Health.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is there any truth in the newspaper report that the Minister proposes to ban the purchase of electric fires in order to save consumption, and, if so, is it not a very sad commentary on the Government's planning?

Mr. Shinwell

I see no reason for any sad or any other kind of commentary; I am not aware of that proposal.