HC Deb 09 December 1920 vol 135 cc2462-3W

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware of the condition of the Plumber coal export trade in consequence of the embargo the Government have placed upon exports from the Midland coal area; whether he will consider an immediate release of saleable coal for export; and whether he will at once investigate the crisis at the Humber ports with a view to action on this or on any other remedial line?


The prohibition of the export of coal from the Midland area was imposed in order to safeguard home supplies; and I regret that the position in the important areas dependent on the Midland coalfield is not at present sufficiently good to justify the resumption of export. The question is constantly before me, and I hope with increased output that it may before long be possible to relax existing restrictions in respect of bunkering as well as export. But the depletion of stocks consequent upon the strike is far from having been made good; and I should not be justified in taking any step which would endanger home supplies, especially at the beginning of the winter.


asked the Secretary for Mines the approximate tonnage of coal exported from this country during the month ended 30th November; its money value; and the corresponding export in tonnage and value for the month of November, 1919?


The tonnage of coal exported from the United Kingdom during the month ended 30th November, 1920, was 1,360,724 tons, valued at £5,681,484 f.o.b. In the month of November, 1919, the corresponding figures were 2,747,476 tons exported, valued at £8,529,187 f.o.b.