HC Deb 29 January 1948 vol 446 cc1200-2
72. Air-Commodore Harvey

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how many applications have been received by the regional petroleum officers for E and S petrol coupons since August, 1947; and how many cases are still outstanding.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Gaitskell)

I gave in reply to the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton) on 22nd January, figures of the number of applications dealt with and on hand at the end of December. I propose to publish further figures for each calendar month as they become available.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that his request to Members of Parliament to deal direct with the regional officer was most unsatisfactory? Does not he think it will be a good thing to scrap the whole business?

Mr. Gaitskell

It was not a request of mine to hon. Members to deal with the regional petroleum officers but a suggestion to them that if they wished to do so I would raise no objection. If any hon. Member is dissatisfied with the treatment he has received in dealing direct with R.P.O.s, I hope he will communicate with me.

Sir Wavell Wakefield

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I carried out his advice and I never received the courtesy of an acknowledgment?

Mr. Chetwynd

Is my right hon. Friend aware that as far as the Northern Region is concerned all letters have been dealt with most expeditiously?

Mr. Maclay

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is not merely a question of whether one is satisfied with the treatment; it raises what is probably a constitutional issue or, if not constitutional, certainly an issue of considerable practical importance—whether one should go past the Minister?

Mr. Gaitskell

I am a little surprised at the hon. Member. If he will look at the communication I made on the subject, he will see that it could not possibly raise a constitutional issue but was merely an attempt to ease the burden on hon. Members and on Whitehall at the same time.

73. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what was the total quantity of supplementary petrol units issued during November and December 1946; and the corresponding quantity issued during the same months of 1947.

Mr. Gaitskell

Statistics are available and have been published for the four monthly period 1st September to 31st December. I have no separate figures for the months of December and November.