HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 cc1892-3
22. Mr. Vane

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the total estimated tonnage of coal burnt for domestic purposes in 1938 and 1947; and the estimated percentage of dirt, stone and slate in the coal supplied for these purposes in the same two years.

Mr. Gaitskell

Separate figures for deliveries of coal to domestic consumers only are not available, but the tonnage of house coal—excluding miners' "concessionary" coal—delivered to domestic consumers and any premises using less than 100 tons per annum is estimated at 44.2 million tons in 1938. The corresponding figure for 1947 is 28.9 million tons. As to the second part of the Question, no such estimates can be made.

Mr. Peter Roberts

Is the Minister aware that in the Yorkshire area at any rate, coal is being sold with a dirt content of 80 per cent., which is 10 per cent. more than a year ago?

Mr. Gaitskell

I would not accept any such generalisation.

23. Mr. Vane

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power by how much, approximately, the total amount of coal used for domestic purposes for the whole country in 1947 would have had to be increased in order that the average household allotment would have equalled the average estimated consumption of coal, both free coal and coal purchased at a reduced price, per miner's household.

Mr. Gaitskell

Arithmetically, about 70 million tons. But the comparison suggested in the Question is highly misleading.

Mr. John McKay

Is my right hon. Friend aware of any general desire on the part of the public to cut down the customary allowance to miners, which has been allowed for generations? Is he aware that instead of getting more coal we would lose thousands of tons per day?

Mr. Gaitskell

I entirely agree. No such suggestion has been received from the general public and, as I have indicated in my answer, the circumstances are entirely different.