HC Deb 07 July 1952 vol 503 c879
11. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what action has now been taken to assist small mine owners in North Staffordshire to find markets for their coal so as to prevent overstocking and maintain production.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

I am informed that the National Coal Board have suggested a number of outlets for the coals produced by these small mines, and most of them are disposing of their output currently and reducing their stocks.

I understand that the North Staffordshire Federation of Small Mines consider that there has been a great improvement in the position.

Mr. Swingler

While thanking the Minister for the action he took last week in this matter, may I ask if he is aware that these small mine owners cannot afford to carry large stocks of coal and have been badly hit by the Lancashire slump and the recession in the salt trade? So far as I am informed there are still many complaints of over-stocking, which is impeding the flow of production. Will he keep an eye on this matter?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir, that was one of the reasons for the action that was taken. I shall certainly keep an eye on the matter, but the remedial measures have only recently been put into operation.

Mr. Edward Davies

Is anything being done to enable local firms or householders to take up this extra stock off the ration in addition to normal supplies?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir, that has been in force for some time in the various localities.

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