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.
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 10 addition, consumption has gone up by 3 per cent., so that we are starting the winter 13 per cent. worse off?
§ 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?