HC Deb 29 June 1953 vol 517 c10
20. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will take steps to permit householders to change their coal merchants freely and at any time in the year.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

I have most carefully considered my hon. Friend's suggestion, but I am afraid that it is not practicable at present.

Mr. Gower

Does not the Minister agree that this is one of the regulations which we want to get rid of? Is he aware that many members of the public feel that this regulation is entirely superfluous?

Mr. Lloyd

I can understand my hon. Friend's feeling, but the restriction that, unhappily, has to persist at present on coal for domestic use is not worked on a coupon system but depends upon the records in the merchants' hands. The difficulty is to prevent consumers from getting more than their proper entitlement.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

As a serious shortage of domestic coal is almost certain this winter, does that not mean that it is more necessary to tighten up the regulations rather than relax them in the way the hon. Gentleman suggests?

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