HC Deb 11 March 1957 vol 566 cc772-3
3. Mr. G. Darling

asked the Paymaster-General what steps are being taken to stop the wasteful burning of raw coal by industrial, commercial and domestic users of solid fuels.

Mr. Maudling

Her Majesty's Government and the industries concerned are striving to improve the efficiency of the use of coal and other forms of energy in many different ways. These include the Government Fuel Efficiency Loans Scheme, the work of the National Industrial Fuel Efficiency Service and taxation relief designed to secure the installation of new fuel saving equipment.

Mr. Darling

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that these measures are quite insufficient for the job we have to do? Is he aware that if we had a proper fuel policy he could save far more than 18 million tons of coal a year with less than half the expenditure that we are putting into atomic power stations? Further, is he aware that if he had an inspectorate to enforce the use of fuel-saving appliances he could save about 5 million tons of coal a year for the expenditure of a few thousand pounds?

Mr. Maudling

I do not think we should under-estimate what is already being done, which is quite considerable, but I agree that a great deal more remains to be done. This is a matter which my noble Friend and I have very much in mind.

Mr. Nabarro

Has my right hon. Friend observed that the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. G. Darling) and ten other hon. Members of this House and myself have presented a Bill called the Thermal Insulation (Industrial Buildings) Bill, which is designed to save large quantities of fuel, and will my right hon. Friend pay very careful regard to the important provisions in that Measure?

Mr. Maudling

I always pay very careful regard to any suggestions from my hon. Friend.