HC Deb 13 March 1947 vol 434 cc1468-9
25. Mr. Geoffrey Cooper

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if there is any intention to standardise fuel-saving designs of firegrates and other domestic appliances, so that no further fuel-wasting open fires are used in any houses now being built or reconstructed.

Mr. Shinwell

An inter-departmental Committee on Domestic Heating is taking all practicable steps to ensure that solid fuel burning appliances of improved types, which satisfy certain standard performance tests, shall be installed in all the new houses.

Mr. Cooper

Could my right hon. Friend give an undertaking that when this research has been carried out certain designs will be standardised, so that a long-term plan will be available in order to save domestic fuel?

Mr. Shinwell

That is a matter for the Inter-Departmental Committee.

Mr. Astor

Is the Minister aware that if he adopts this suggestion he will sweep away, at one stroke of the pen, any artistry in domestic design, and be carrying totalitarianism much further than it has been carried hitherto by any totalitarian Power?

Mr. Shinwell

I have no intention of sweeping anything away.

Mr. Janner

Can my right hon. Friend say when the report is likely to be received, as the matter is of considerable urgency?

Mr. Shinwell

I cannot say.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, despite present difficulties, there is something peculiarly British about an open coal fire? Will he also bear in mind that flueless fires are unhealthy?

Mr. Molson

Is the Minister aware that the Simon Committee, which was set up by the Minister of Health, recommended that a subsidy should not be paid for new houses which did not use economical stoves?