HC Deb 14 July 1949 vol 467 cc651-2
25. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the serious pollution of the atmosphere caused by certain tugs on the River Thames; and what steps he proposes to take to check this menace to amenity and health.

Mr. Bevan

I understand that the emission of smoke from the tugs is aggravated by the lack of Welsh steam coal, which the owners prefer. At present it is not possible to provide it because of the needs of the export market. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power will gladly arrange for an investigation to be made by an expert of his Department to see what can be done to mitigate any cause of complaint.

Mrs. Castle

Will my right hon. Friend keep this matter under urgent review in view of the damage being done by these black belchings both to the beauty of the River Thames and to the cleanliness of hon. Members of this House?

Mr. Bevan

I have had an opportunity of seeing these belchings, and I quite agree with my hon. Friend that they are unsightly, distasteful, and do not ease the problems of personal cleanliness.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this excessive smoke is a direct result of the bad quality of coal?

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