HC Deb 12 February 1951 vol 484 cc12-3
24. Air Commodore Harvey

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power when the coal ordered from the United States and other countries will be delivered.

Mr. Robens

The National Coal Board expect that the greater part of the coal which they have purchased from abroad will have arrived in this country before the end of March. Up to 7th February, 260,000 tons had arrived from the United States.

Air Commodore Harvey

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say what he means by "the greater part"? What does that mean in tonnage? Will he also say whether coal is at present being exported from this country and, if it is, whether he is satisfied that every economy is being made in shipping space?

Mr. Robens

Yes; coal is being exported and every economy is being made with shipping. "Greater part" means the major part of the whole.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, owing to the lack of coordination and planning in the orders of coal and grain and in chartering shipping, there is grave congestion in the ports of this country, and that shipping has had to be diverted to Rotterdam, with the consequent increase in the cost of coal?

Mr. Robens

It is not as grave as all that.