HC Deb 03 July 1950 vol 477 cc16-7
23. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power, in view of the fact that coke has been decontrolled, why users are still requested by his Department to fill up forms, giving information as to their requirements and use.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Although the supply of coke is generally adequate to meet the demand, it is still necessary to keep a watch on distribution, in order that the needs of essential industries, which require particular qualities or sizes, can be met. For this reason large consumers are still being asked to furnish returns showing their consumption and their stocks. Arrangements are being made however to dispense with these returns from the smaller consumers (who use less than 100 tons of coke and coal in the year). But these arrangements will not apply to the small consumers in the iron and steel industry.

Mr. Bossom

Will the Minister look at the forms now being sent out to see whether it is necessary to ask for all the ridiculous information for which they ask?

Mr. Noel-Baker

The information may seem ridiculous to the hon. Member, but it is most desirable that these people who want specialised qualities and sizes should get what they want. The producers have to have this information to enable them to meet this demand.

Mr. Peter Thorneycroft

Could they not get what they want simply by ordering it, when the producers would see what was required?

Mr. Noel-Baker

But they might order it and find that it is not there. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes, of course, but with the arrangements which we make it is there; that is the difference.

Mr. Bossom

Does the Minister think it necessary to ask in what type of conveyance the coke is to be brought to the factory?