§ Captain Lyons
asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been called to the complaint of the shortage of coal supplies of the Metropolitan Water Board; and what immediate steps he proposes to meet the situation?1070W
§ Mr. Grenfell
This undertaking has reserve stocks of coal far greater than those of most public utility undertakings. In spite of the heavy demands made upon the Board last winter at no time did their total stocks fall below three months' consumption and the total decrease during the winter was only eight weeks. Since then there has been some further addition to stocks which now stand at about sixteen weeks' needs. This is a far stronger position than that of most public utility undertakings in the country. While I recognise the exceptional importance of the Metroplitan Water Board, I feel that in the present position of coal supplies, I should be justified in placing some limitation upon supplies to this concern in order that the supplies available shall be reasonably distributed to other undertakings.