§ Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that the regional officer at Birmingham makes no allowances for the special licences granted by the local fuel overseers in the North Staffordshire area; that the allocation granted is taken from other consumers, which means that their supply is reduced from the amounts received in other areas; is this in accordance with his instructions; and is the average coal allowed as much as in other areas
§ Mr. Shinwell
In North Staffordshire, as in other areas, the division of the coal allocation among merchants is made with due regard to the quantities of extra coal licensed by local fuel overseers to meet special needs as indicated by the amount of licensing in previous periods. Since, however, the total supplies available have been insufficient to provide the full permitted quantities for all households in addition to the licensed extra supplies, the deliveries to ordinary consumers have had to be reduced in order to meet the requirements of premises having special needs. This has been general throughout the country.344W
§ Mr. Shinwell
The reduction in disposals of house coal during the calendar year 1946 was due partly to low production in the early months of 1946, and partly to the restrictions on disposals in the summer of 1946 which resulted in heavier stocking by merchants against the needs of the present winter. Out of the total reduction of 25,000 tons a week, 5,300 tons a week was in the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire.
§ Mr. Sharp
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power to what extent additional coal is allocated to coal merchants with an exceptionally large number of domestic consumers relying on coal for cooking; and what additional allocation is made in the West Riding of Yorkshire to merchants who have upwards of 40 per cent. of such customers entitled to receive additional coal.
§ Mr. Shinwell
In making coal allocations between regions on the basis of the supplies expected to be available in each period, allowance is made for the proportion of premises in each region needing extra supplies because of their dependence on coal for cooking or for other reasons; and the same principle is adopted by the house coal officers in dividing up the regional allocations between depots and between individual merchants. In the West Riding of Yorkshire full account is taken in each merchant's allocation for the additional quantities licensed by the local fuel overseer in the previous restriction year and a merchant can ask for adjustment if there has been since then a substantial change in his position. Supplies coming forward from the pits have not been sufficient to meet in full both the permitted quantities and the lincensed additions, and merchants have, therefore, been instructed that they should meet these demands in the same proportion.