§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government, whether in view of the fact that the wool textile industry has ample stocks of raw material and an increasing number of operatives the appropriate department will give a guarantee, that factories creating their own steam power shall have the necessary stocks of coal from now onwards and give the industry the opportunity to expand its export market in the "hard currency" markets.]
§ LORD CHORLEY
My Lords, coal allocations to the wool textile industry, as indeed to industry generally, during the summer months are based on the actual rate of consumption last year. Special provision has been made for deconcentrated firms and, in addition, limited increases in allocations over and above last summer's consumption have been made in certain cases. As regards additional supplies of coal for an expansion of production by the woollen industry, I would refer my noble friend to the reply I gave on this subject yesterday to the noble Lord, Lord Barnby.
§ LORD BARNBY
My Lords, arising out of that reply, with the indulgence of the House, may I ask this? The noble Lord stated that the coal allocation is on the basis of 1946 and he is no doubt aware that the wool textile industry was last year on a much lower level of activity than it is at the present moment in response to the urgings of His Majesty's Government. Therefore, such an allocation, apart from the actual deliveries against the allocation, 1024 is grossly insufficient for the existing requirements of the wool textile industry. Secondly, can the noble Lord name any other industry of that size, comparably situated, which is operating entirely on raw material of sterling area origin, with its present activity far above that of previous years but still below orders, where a large part of the production is being directed into export?
§ LORD CHORLEY
My Lords, with regard to the first of the supplementary questions put to me by the noble Lord, my noble friend is well aware that the wool textile industry, and other industries, would welcome much larger allocations of coal; and, indeed, as my answer made clear, there have in fact been allocations over and above the allocation originally made. They have been rather small, but during the last months some thousands of tons of coal over and above the original allocations have been allocated for the wool textile industry. With regard to the noble Lord's second supplementary question, I am afraid that I am not in a position to answer it without notice, but if he would be so kind as to set it down for me in writing I will see that he gets an answer.
§ LORD BARNBY
My Lords, since the reply given is not a full reply to the suggestion that allocations are below actual requirements, may I ask the noble Lord if he would be good enough to make representations to the proper quarter on that subject so that it may he dealt with?
§ LORD CALVERLEY
My Lords, as the one who asked the original question, I content myself with saying that the reply is Most disappointing, and I hope to have the opportunity of drawing the attention of your Lordships' House to it later.