HC Deb 16 November 1959 vol 613 cc779-80
16. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Power, in view of the widespread dissatisfaction last winter at the inadequate supplies of suitable types of smokeless fuels for domestic fires and boilers, necessary for the implementation of the Clean Air Act, what has since been done to improve the situation; and what are the prospects for the immediate future.

Mr. George

The production of smokeless fuels suitable for the domestic market has been increased and the prospects for this winter thereby improved.

Mr. Dodds

Will the hon. Gentleman be a little more forthcoming, in the knowledge that there has been disappointment year after year? Is he aware that at the present rate it will take about sixty years to have the Clean Air Act brought into operation? Is it not a fact that many local authorities would take the step but for the simple fact that they know from experience the many complaints which result because of the shortage of suitable smokeless fuels when they do establish a smoke control area?

Mr. George

Up to date, over 400 orders have been confirmed, and not one has had to be turned down because of a shortage of fuel. We are well aware of the difficulties in this matter, but we look forward this winter to added contributions from various sources, and especially we hope for a wider use of coke now that a British Standards specification has been brought in and much education work has been done during the summer by the gas boards. We look forward to all these things bearing fruit this winter.