HC Deb 06 April 1965 vol 710 cc227-8
23. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Minister of Power what are the stocks of smokeless and premium fuels in the country at the present time; and how these figures compare with three months and six months ago.

Mr. John Morris

Stocks of solid smokeless fuels held by producers and merchants were 3.9 million tons at end February, against 4.9 million tons three months earlier and 4.6 million tons six months earlier.

Mr. Osborn

Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied with the stocks at the present time? Is he satisfied with the rate of increase in production planned two years ago, and what steps is he taking to advise the Minister of Housing and Local Government to accelerate smoke control areas?

Mr. Morris

On the first part of the question, stocks of solid smokeless fuels have been adequate this year. The question of smokeless fuel areas is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government.

Mr. H. Hynd

Can my hon. Friend assure us that next winter there will be an adequate supply in the respective areas; in other words, that the distribution will be satisfactory, because of the fact that smokeless zones are not evenly spread throughout the country?

Mr. Morris

A few months ago I made a full statement on this matter to the Clean Air Council. Before a local authority applies for a smoke control order, it should satisfy itself about the prospective availability of smokeless fuel supplies in its area, and the Minister of Housing and Local Government must give approval to the scheme.