HC Deb 20 November 1947 vol 444 cc1320-2
36. Commander Pursey

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the percentage of the annual allocation of domestic coal supplied to the northern and southern regions, and the London region, respectively, during the coal year 1st May, 1946, to 30th April, 1947; what should have been the annual average delivery per registered consumer in each of these regions; and what are the likely annual average deliveries for domestic consumers during the present fuel year, in view of the increased coal output and increased stocks in merchants' yards.

Mr. Gaitskell

As the reply includes a number of figures, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Commander Pursey

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the allocation of coal for London has always been low and has caused a considerable amount of hardship? As the position is now easier, would he consider increasing the allocation per registered customer by half a hundredweight per week, which would only amount to 1,500 tons per week, and would help considerably?

Mr. Gaitskell

I would naturally be extremely glad to increase the allocation of house coal if that were possible, but we have to balance against other needs, including the needs of the export trade.

Following is the information:

While I will, of course, keep the matter under review, I doubt whether an increase in domestic supplies will be possible during the present coal year, apart from that necessary to provide for the increased number of registrations. Domestic consumers may, therefore, expect to receive about the same as during 1946–47.

37. Commander Pursey

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the number of domestic coal consumers in the Borough of Wandsworth registered with Hall and Co., Battersea Rise; the number to whom the full 15 cwt. summer allocation was delivered between 1st May and 31st October; the number who received less than the London average delivery of 10 cwt. and the reasons; and whether he will have the records of this coal office examined to ascertain how available coal has been disposed of, with a view to a more equitable future distribution to registered consumers.

Mr. Gaitskell

Messrs. Hall and Company have 1,430 domestic registrations in the borough of Wandsworth. Of those who placed orders, 77 received 15 cwt. of coal and coalite, and 567 less than 10 cwt. I am informed that the latter consist largely of persons who, owing to lack of storage space or for other reasons, are accustomed to draw the bulk of their supplies during the winter. With regard to the last part of the Question, I am informed that the local fuel overseer has received comparatively few recent complaints from consumers registered with this merchant and I am not satisfied that an examination of the kind suggested is called for.

38. Commander Pursey

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the amount of coke supplied to registered domestic consumers in Hull, out of the 20 cwt. allocation, during the summer six months, 1st May to 31st October, by the British Gas Light Company, East Hull Gas Company and other merchants, respectively; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure the supply of coke to prefabricated houses in Hull with boilers made to burn coke.

Mr. Gaitskell

During the period referred to, deliveries of gas coke to all controlled premises registered with the British Gas Light Company and the East Hull Gas Company averaged 10.6 cwt. and 13.0 cwt., respectively. Average figures of deliveries to coke consumers by other merchants are not available. With regard to the second part of the Question, my regional officer is ascertaining particulars of the registration of prefabricated houses with each merchant, so as to ensure fair and equitable distribution to these houses of the limited supplies of coke available.