HC Deb 20 November 1950 vol 481 cc9-10
14. Colonel Clarke

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the total amount of distributed stocks of coal, colliery stocks, and opencast coal stocks on sites or in central stocking grounds; and the comparable total for the same date in 1949.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

The total distributed stocks of coal at the end of the first week of winter were 15.4 million tons in 1949 they were 16.7 million tons. The undistributed stocks were 1.58 million tons; in 1949 they were 2.78 million tons.

Colonel Clarke

Does the Minister appreciate that the total supply of coal is now just over two million tons less than at this time last year—that is to say, practically 10 per cent. less—and that in addition, consumption has gone up by 3 per cent., so that we are starting the winter 13 per cent. worse off?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. and gallant Member is giving information and not asking a question.

Mr. P. Roberts

In view of the increasing consumption which is expected, is the Minister satisfied that we shall not run into a fuel crisis in the spring of next year unless further action is taken?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I think that further action is required, as I said last week.