§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that during the year 1913 the output of coal in Great Britain was 287,412,000 tons, of which 77,000,000 tons was exported, including 8,883,353 tons from Humber ports, 23,023,810 tons from the ports of the Blythe, Tyne, Weir, and Tees, 751,819 tons from the North West Coast ports, 29,875,916 tons from the Bristol Channel ports, and 10,437,197 tons from the Scottish ports; that during the first 11 months of the year 1919 the output of coal in the United Kingdom was approximately 248,000,000 tons, of which 32,315,713 tons was exported: and that of this amount only 427,758 tons was allowed to be exported from the Humber ports, while 10,662,623 tons was exported from the ports of the Tyne, Blythe, Weir, and Tees, 85,451 tons from the North West Coast ports, 18,720,352 tons from the Bristol Channel ports, and 2,376,997 tons from the Scottish ports; why the proportion permitted to be exported from the Humber ports is so much smaller than the proportion permitted to be exported from the other ports of the United Kingdom; whether he is aware of the distress and unemployment caused in the Humber ports through this discrimination against the Humber ports; and whether he can see his way to permit a greater share of the amount of coal allowed to be exported from the United Kingdom to be shipped from the ports of the Humber during the present year?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
Except as regards the output for the first eleven months of 1919, which was 210 millions instead of 248 millions, as stated in the question, I accept the hon. and gallant Member's figures; but I would point out that owing largely to difficulties of inland transport the position of both household and industrial supplies of coal, especially in Central and Southern England, continues to give rise to considerable anxiety. The supplies for these areas are mainly drawn from those coal districts which ordinarily provide the coal exported from the Humber, and so long as the present difficulties continue, I regret that it will not be possible to allow a larger quantity of coal to be exported from the Humber ports.