HC Deb 11 October 1939 vol 352 cc354-5W
Mr. David Adams

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that the Fuel and Lighting Order, 1939, in reducing the consumption of coal, gas and electricity is curtailing the production of gas and consequently of benzol, toluol and naphtha urgently required for war purposes by some 20 per cent.; and whether, in view of these needs and of unemployed coalminers, it is intended to modify the operation of the Order at an early date?

Mr. Lloyd

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply on Monday to the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) and, in regard to the second part of the question, to the statement I made last night during the Debate on the Adjournment.

Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he will modify the rationing of coal, electricity, and gas in the cases where the numbers of a household have been substantially increased owing to the incidence of the war?

Mr. Lloyd

The Fuel and Lighting Order gives discretion to the local fuel overseer in cases such as this and they have been specially instructed to give sympathetic consideration to applications made to them for increased basic quantities of fuel for households where numbers have increasing owing to evacuation.

Mr. Brooke

asked the Home Secretary whether he intends to prescribe any conditions as to light distribution and intensity with which a headlamp mask must comply, other than those set out in paragraph 9 of his recent circular on War-time Lighting Restrictions?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Experience in the first two weeks of the war showed that some of the devices used for screening headlamps were unsafe, as they dazzled oncoming drivers and were visible to aircraft. The pamphlet referred to by the hon. Member, therefore, laid down the conditions with which light emitted from a headlamp must comply. Repeated experiments have shown that light complying with these conditions enables a driver to drive with safety to himself and to oncoming traffic and to pedestrians, and that it complies with present strategical requirements. My right hon. Friend has no reason to expect that it will be necessary to alter these conditions. The pamphlet describes a headlamp mask which modifies the light from the headlamp in accordance with these conditions. It is in manufacture, and supplies will shortly be available. The use of this particular mask is not compulsory: any other device which satisfies the conditions may be used. But whatever device is used, the police will require proper compliance with the conditions governing the light that may be emitted.

Mr. T. Morris

asked the Minister of Transport whether he can now state the result of experiments, which have been made during the last few days, with a view to relaxing restrictions on lights in trains?

Captain Wallace

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I have given to-day to my hon. Friends the Members for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) and Leicester, East (Mr. Lyons).