HC Deb 28 November 1955 vol 546 cc1915-6
12. Mr. B. Harrison

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will modify the line north of which larger allocations of coal are made available so that it runs south from the Wash to the Thames and includes East Anglia in the higher allocation area.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend regrets that present coal supplies do not permit him to increase the allocation in any area.

Mr. Harrison

Is my hon. Friend not aware that although East Anglia is the healthiest part of the United Kingdom it also has the coldest wind—the east wind? Will he not look again at this matter and give it his consideration?

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I can assure my hon. Friend that we have considered this point very carefully. Having lived in Norfolk myself, I have some sympathy with his remarks, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, and this line, which has been in existence since 1942, has substantial merits, as well as being recognised and understood. For my hon. Friend's comfort, I would point out to him that a higher proportion of the permitted maximum supply goes to the eastern region, and the average receipt per allocation is about 3 hundredweight higher than in any other region.

Sir F. Medlicott

Is my hon. Friend aware that this line is certainly not understood in the county of Norfolk, where the north-east winds make weather conditions utterly different from those in, say, Bournemouth and Torquay, which have the same allocation? Does my hon. Friend realise that this line is utterly unrealistic, and will he give further consideration to the matter?

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

My hon. and gallant Friend may be right in saying that it is not approved of in East Anglia or Norfolk, but I think that it is understood. As I pointed out, the average receipt per allocation is 3 hundredweight higher in the eastern region than in the southern region to which he referred.