HC Deb 27 April 1953 vol 514 cc1731-2
6. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the reason for the shortage of coal for householders in Birmingham; and what steps he proposes to take to make it possible for the household ration to be allotted at the correct time.

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, 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. Lloyd

I will make further inquiries and will write to the hon. Member.

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. Lloyd

Yes, Sir.

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. Lloyd

Yes, Sir. I hope that that will be done.

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?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir. I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman.