HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 c17
26. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Paymaster-General if he will abolish coal rationing and thereby save the public trouble and the taxpayer money.

Mr. Maudling

Although my noble Friend is anxious to abolish coal restrictions, this could at present be achieved only by continuing heavy coal imports which, in present financial circumstances, it must be our aim to reduce.

Sir I. Fraser

Will my right hon. Friend look at the matter again? If there is enough to go round as things are now, how can he say what he is saying? Further, how far are the fuel overseers or fuel inspectors in the towns of England fully employed?

Mr. Maudling

I can assure my hon. Friend that no one is more anxious than my noble Friend to get rid of coal rationing as soon as possible; but the fact is that coal of the sizes necessary for domestic household consumption is not available in the quantity needed. Therefore, it is quite impossible to abolish rationing without having greater imports of large coal.