HC Deb 13 May 1957 vol 570 cc6-7
12. Mr. Janner

asked the Paymaster-General what is the present staff employed on issuing coal consumption licences to domestic consumers under the Coal Distribution Order, 1943; and when he anticipates it will be possible to put an end to this war-time routine.

Mr. Renton

Licences are required only to meet special needs, and their issue is only one of the duties of local fuel offices. Staff is not generally allocated to this work alone, but the total staff at the 457 offices is about 1,600, including over 500 part-time. On the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given last week to my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Cooper).

Mr. Janner

Does not the Minister realise that it is about time to dispense with this Order, which is a war-time one, and to remove this difficulty of getting additional supplies?

Mr. Renton

My noble Friend is keen to get rid of this and any other control as soon as it can be done, but we have to remember that, although total stocks of coal are now very much higher than they were a year ago, stocks of house coal are not very much higher.