HC Deb 06 July 1953 vol 517 c843
12. Mr. Spearman

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why Mr. J. W. Dawson's application, of 14th March, to register as a coal merchant in the Bridlington rural district has been refused.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

I understand that the local fuel overseer refused the application on the ground that the small villages concerned are already served by five coal merchants.

Mr. Spearman

If my right hon. Friend thinks it necessary to continue coal rationing, would he not try to devise a system by which permits are not allocated on the basis of conditions in 1939? Could he inform his regional overseers that it is not his policy to discourage competition?

Mr. Lloyd

It is certainly not our policy to discourage competition, but difficult questions arise as to what is really the right number of coal merchants in an area while we have this severe limitation on household distribution.

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