HC Deb 10 December 1962 vol 669 cc5-7
3. Mr. Darling

asked the Minister of Power whether he will consult the National Coal Board, the Gas Council and the Coal Merchants Federation with a view to improving the distribution of smokeless solid fuels, so that householders in industrial areas such as Sheffield can obtain adequate supplies of suitable solid fuels that will keep their homes warm and also meet their obligations under the Clean Air Act.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power (Mr. John Peyton)

Heavy sales before the ending of summer prices caused some shortages of premium fuels in Sheffield and elsewhere. Supplies of Cleanglow are improving and there is no shortage of Gloco, which is cheaper and will burn satisfactorily in a modern grate. I do regularly consult these bodies all of which are represented on the National Advisory Committee on Smokeless Fuels of which I am Chairman.

Mr. Darling

The information given to me by householders in Sheffield conflicts with what the hon. Gentleman has just said. Will he bear in mind, in considering the distribution of fuels, that in many of the grates in smoke control areas it is quite impossible to burn the grades of coke about which he has been speaking? Cannot something be done either to improve the supply of premium fuels or to alter the stoves so that they will burn what is available?

Mr. Peyton

I think it is possible that difficulties in Sheffield were added to by the closure for overhaul of a plant near Nottingham. I am advised that supplies of Cleanglow are now improving. That is the premium fuel concerned. I am advised also, and aidvised very strongly, that Gloco is a perfectly adequate fuel which will burn well in a proper approved applianoe. If the hon. Gentleman has a case in mind in which there is real difficulty, I should be very glad to refer it to the Gas Board, because the Board is anxious to help individual customers where it can.

10. Mr. Longden

asked the Minister of Power whether he has yet received any advice from the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council on how to deal with the excessive moisture content in smokeless fuels.

Mr. Peyton

No, Six, but I expect to receive a report from the Council shortly.

Mr. Longden

My hon. Friend will remember that on 23rd July last he told me that he was anxious that consumers should have all possible knowledge of the ways in which they could obtain redress. Because there is real difficulty here, can he tell me What steps his Department has taken since then to that end?

Mr. Peyton

I can only echo the Answer I gave to my hon. Friend in July. I see no mason to depart from it. Steps are continually being taken to deal with the reasonable complaints of consumers. If my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind, I should be very glad to look at it and see whether I can help him.

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