HC Deb 26 March 1956 vol 550 cc1756-7
18. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will take steps to ensure a fairer and more abundant distribution of grade II smokeless fuels for general household use.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Mr. David Renton)

The essential problem is to increase the production of these fuels. A doubling of the output of Phurnacite by next January is planned and, as a longer-term development, two large pits are being sunk in the anthracite area.

Mr. Palmer

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that even allowing for the present level of production, there is much unfairness in distribution creating a sense of grievance among the suppliers of these fuels, particularly in the south of England, among whom the Cooperative movement represents some of the worst-hit sufferers? Is it not possible, even with the present limit of production, to take some action?

Mr. Renton

The National Coal Board does its best to ensure a fair distribution of the available supplies among merchants throughout the country. The Board will, I am sure, be grateful for any suggestions as to the way in which its scheme can be improved.