HC Deb 01 May 1947 vol 436 cc2154-5
27. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will issue directions to the National Coal Board that, in all cases where non-combustible substances of mineral origin are supplied by that Board to coal merchants and by coal merchants to domestic consumers, such material shall be replaced by coal without further payment and without counting against fuel allocations.

Mr. Shinwell

No, Sir. Replacement on the lines suggested by the hon. Member would be impracticable, but the National Coal Board are giving close attention to the improvement in standards of quality.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what possible justification there can be for selling as coal pieces of stone such as has been sold to my constituents?

Mr. Shinwell

It is not a question of justification; it is because of physical difficulties which for the moment are insurmountable. If private ownership found there were great difficulties before the transfer of the pits to national ownership, those difficulties still obtain, but the National Coal Board is doing its best.

Mr. Jennings

Is there any chance of poor persons getting their money back after they have bought stones?

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