HC Deb 23 April 1964 vol 693 cc1479-80
4. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Power what steps he is taking to increase the production of coke and smokeless fuels in Scotland.

Mr. Peyton

Supplies of Gloco, Sunbrite, gas, electricity and oil are ade- quate, and a new plant producing premium fuel has just been opened in Fife. As regards the longer term, steps are being taken as set out in the White Paper of December, 1963.

Mr. Bence

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that in West Scotland at least, and certainly in the new town of Cumbernauld in my constituency, it is becoming almost impossible in the winter months to obtain coke and smokeless fuel? Does the hon. Gentleman understand that in working-class homes people cannot stock up in the summer? They do not have the room and it is becoming almost impossible for those in smokeless zones to warm their houses in winter. Will the hon. Gentleman undertake to given a general direction quickly?

Mr. Peyton

I cannot undertake to give a general direction. Complaints about specific shortages must be addressed to the supplying industry. I should make it perfectly clear that coke is a by-product and it would be wrong to ask the gas industry to put down plant to make a fuel the production of which would be uneconomic.