LORD MONK BRETTON
My Lords, I rise to ask His Majesty's Government whether assessments for allowances of coal for the coming winter in rural districts can be made immediately, so as to enable stocks to be laid in before vehicles are engaged in the hay harvest.
§ LORD SOMERLEYTON
My Lords. I am very glad this Question has been asked by the noble Lord opposite. It is one on which a good deal of public attention has been centred lately. I think I can answer it in a way that he will regard as satisfactory. The current supplies of coal, in so far as they are in excess of current needs, must be applied to establish public reserve stocks in the first instance. It is hoped to permit the private stocking of coal for the next winter from June 30 onwards, but that decision must depend on the extent to which the output of coal can be increased in the interval. I think the noble Lord will see that this measure is absolutely necessary to protect our own interests during the summer months. If the noble Lord wishes for any further information I shall be glad to answer him at greater length. I trust he will regard this as satisfactory.
§ House adjourned at fifteen minutes before eight o'clock.