HC Deb 02 April 1963 vol 675 cc221-2
21. Mr. Webster

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs which local authorities have been advised to refrain from prosecutions for the breach of smokeless zone regulations because of the unavailability of supplies of smokeless fuels; and which local authorities have applied for the suspension of smoke control orders for this reason.

Mr. Corfield

A few local authorities have been so advised in response to informal telephone inquiries, but the details have not been recorded. My right hon. Friend has made suspension orders on the application of Dartford Borough Council and Northfleet Urban District Council. No other application is before him.

Mr. Webster

Is it not regrettable that a highly commendable scheme is falling into disrepute because of these actions? Would it not be better if no further smokeless zones were created until adequate supplies proved to be available throughout the country?

Mr. Corfield

I do not think that we would wish to insure to the extent of underwriting the risks of a winter such as we have recently had. However, I think my hon. Friend will agree that smokeless zone regulations, like everything else, must be administrated with common sense; and I am satisfied that local authorities are doing so.