HC Deb 06 July 1953 vol 517 cc848-51
20. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of the threatened shortage of coal next winter, he will speed up the introduction of fuel-saving grates, stoves and other economical appliances.

31. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps he has taken to encourage the production of high-efficiency open fires of utility pattern capable of easy installation in existing fire-openings, as recommended by the Ridley Committee.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

The Coal Utilisation Council is constantly extending its campaign in favour of these new appliances, and I am glad to tell the House that last year nearly 2 million of them were delivered to the home market, compared with 687,000 in 1951 and 345,000 in 1950. A six-fold increase in two years is a remarkable achievement and if the 1952 rate could be maintained for another two years about half the homes in the country will have these appliances.

Mr. Woodburn

Are there any steps which the Ministry can take to ensure that that is so, because in the foundry area of Falkirk and the surrounding district there is a great deal of unemployment among the very people making these fuel-saving appliances? Will he consult his right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply to see whether it can be assured that there will be no shortage of iron or the necessary orders? There is plenty of capacity for increasing the production of these appliances immediately.

Mr. Lloyd

In reply to a later Question I am pointing out that certain changes are occurring in the industry at the moment. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman's question can be connected with that Question.

32. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps he has taken to establish new standards of performance, based on achieving a room efficiency of 40 per cent. with coal, for solid-fuel room-heating appliances, as proposed by the Ridley Committee.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

New standards of performance were brought into force on 30th June. The efficiency stipulated, together with the revised methods of test, set a higher standard which in many cases, if the appliance is appropriately installed, is comparable with the 40 per cent. room efficiency recommended by the Ridley Committee.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Do I understand that approval will not be given to any types of appliance which do not meet this standard of efficiency? Can the Minister also assure us that raw materials will be available for the manufacture of sufficient quantities?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not think there is difficulty about raw materials at present. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, these specifications are extremely elaborate, and they have gone out to the industry.

Mr. Alport

How many of the two million appliances produced and sold last year came up to the standard of efficiency which is now in operation?

Mr. Lloyd

They came up to the standard of efficiency which was then in operation. I cannot say how many would reach this higher standard.

Mr. Manuel

Is the Minister aware that his repeated attempts to sell lower grades of coal and coke will not meet with the success he desires while there are so many open-burning fires? Is he aware that his only chance of selling those lower grade coals is to push much more the production of fuel-saving appliances?

Mr. Lloyd

I would point out that the efficiencies stipulated until the new standards came into operation applied only to coke, whereas the present new specifications of efficiency apply also to coal.

30. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will make a statement on progress made in promoting the efficient use of fuel in Government Departments and other branches of the public service.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

Yes, Sir. About 5,000 improved solid fuel appliances have been installed in Government buildings in place of the old type of open grate. Where further replacements are necessary improved appliances are always installed. Improved appliances have also been installed in new houses erected by the Ministry of Supply and efficient closed stoves have been fitted in many Army and R.A.F. barracks.

In addition, training courses are run for stokers and others; heating plants in Government buildings are being surveyed and improved; and steps are being taken to improve cooking equipment in canteens.

Mr. Palmer

Has the attention of local authorities been drawn to this point, which was one of the recommendations of the Ridley Committee?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir.

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