4. Air Commodore Harvey
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware of the shortage of coal stocks in the Macclesfield area; and what steps he is taking to remedy the situation.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
Stocks are always low at this time of the year, but I am not aware of any special difficulties. I am, however, making further inquiries and will write to the hon. Members.
§ Mr. Wyatt
Since the Minister and I both have an interest in Birmingham, is he not aware that, for some time past, 1732 many domestic coal users have been waiting for weeks for their ration to be honoured and that the only firm that has been honouring the ration consistently is the Co-operative Society?
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Is the Minister aware that this also applies in other areas, especially where coal is being mined? Will he ask his regional officers to pay special attention to this matter?
§ Mr. Shurmer
Is the Minister aware that coal merchants in Birmingham have stated that people were not receiving their proper allocation of coal during the winter, despite the arrangements for summer stocking? Is he aware that thousands live in rooms in Birmingham and are unable to stock coal? Would it not be better to stock the coal in coal-yards, from which deliveries could be made in those cases?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Is not the best safeguard against difficulties at this time of the year, summer stocking by householders who have accommodation for coal? Does not that enable merchants to honour the pledge which they have given that they will supply first those who have no space for stocking?