HC Deb 29 November 1917 vol 99 cc2254-5W

asked the Coal Controller if he has seen a statement by the Wexford Trades and Labour Council that, according to him, the price of coal at the pit should not exceed pre-war prices by more than 7s. or 8s. per ton, whereas the people of Wexford have to pay 30s. per ton more; whether he can explain the cause of these prices; and, in view of the fears of distress amongst the poor, can he hold out any hope that the price of coal in Wexford will be reduced?


An inquiry has been made into the position as regards retail coal prices in Wexford, in accordance with a promise which the President of the Board of Trade made in a reply which he gave to a similar question asked by the hon. Member on the 29th October. The increase over pre-war prices is about 29s. per ton. The coal is obtained from collieries in Monmouthshire and South Wales, and the increase in the pit price permitted under the Price of Coal (Limitation) Act is accordingly 9s. per ton. The increase in freights is about 17s. per ton, and the remaining 2s. is accounted for by increased costs of handling and distribution. As my right hon. Friend has already stated, the question of freights on coastwise traffic is receiving the attention of the Shipping Controller.