HC Deb 26 January 1954 vol 522 c1578
7. Mr. Hardy

asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that raw bituminous coal is burned in the grates in the offices of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in Whitehall and that a serious nuisance thereby occurs; and what steps he proposes to take in order to abate this nuisance.

Sir D. Eccles

Bituminous coal is the most suitable fuel for the remaining open grates in Government offices, Great George Street. Modernisation of the heating services in the building is in progress, and by the end of 1957 the use of open fires should have ceased.

Mr. Hardy

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the widespread feeling against smoke pollution in various parts of this country? Does he think it will encourage local authorities to proceed with their ideas of providing smokeless zones when the Government of the day were not prepared to show them some example by way of improving conditions in London, as during the fog or "smog" last year?

Sir D. Eccles

Out of 987 rooms, only 172 are left with open grates, and they are only suitable for burning ordinary coal. If we were to provide "Coalite," we should have to pay nearly double for it, and I think the best thing is to get on with changing the system.