HC Deb 12 February 1951 vol 484 cc11-2
19. Mr. Higgs

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power to what extent the distribution of coal supplies is being retarded by delays on the railways.

Mr. Robens

There was some congestion on the railways in the early weeks of this year, due at first to the bad weather and later to heavy sickness among the railwaymen. As a result of measures adopted by the Railway Executive, the movement of coal has now improved.

Mr. Higgs

Will the Minister look into this matter again? Is he aware that cases have been reported to me of truck loads of coal standing in sidings for four or five days within sight and almost within reach of houses whose inhabitants are crying out for it?

Mr. Robens

That may well be, but there would be a very good reason for those trucks remaining in the sidings.

Mr. Harrison

Can my hon. Friend say to what particular districts he had in mind when referring to the delays which have taken place?

Mr. Robens

In general, more in those areas where the influenza epidemic was greatest.