§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Coal Mines Department, Glasgow, has intimated to important firms in Edinburgh and elsewhere that permits recently issued to obtain many tons of coal from the ss. "Perceur" at Grange-mouth have been cancelled on the ground that the firms in question are prohibited meantime from obtaining imported coal; whether there would have been no labour or other difficulty in handling this coal; and whether, having regard to the fact that withdrawal of the permit will aggravate unemployment in Edinburgh and district, where there are now 16,000 unemployed, he will issue instructions to allow the firms to obtain this coal?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The coal in question, which was originally destined for industries not essential to the life of the community, has been diverted to essential purposes, in accordance with the declared policy of the Government. I regret that the circumstances are not at present such as to justify a departure from this policy.