§ 103. Mr. G. Williams
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware of the serious shortage of coke in the Tonbridge rural area; and whether, in view of the fact that this shortage is in part due to the fact that during the London gas strike gas works in various parts of Kent sent their reserve supplies of coke to London, steps can now be taken to ensure that the Kent area shall not be penalised on that account.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
As I said in answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Halifax (Mr. Brook) on 28th November, supplies of gas coke to consumers other than essential consumers will be somewhat less this winter than a year ago. I can assure the hon. Member, however, that Tonbridge will not be penalised in any way, as a result of the strike at certain 113W London gas works earlier in the year. Supplies of coke are now being sent into the Tonbridge area from Sevenoaks, London, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.
§ 109. Mr. Odey
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that, owing to the shortage of coke, a number of institutions, such as hospitals and schools, and a large number of private users in the East Riding of Yorkshire are without coke; and if he will take steps to improve supplies from Harworth coke ovens, Bawtry, one of the main sources of supply for coke in this area.
§ 112. Mr. Turton
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that schools, bakeries and market gardens in the North Riding of Yorkshire are experiencing difficulty in obtaining supplies of coke essential for their needs; and what action he is taking to remedy this situation.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
I have given instructions that the needs of essential consumers, such as hospitals, schools, bakeries and nurserymen shall be supplied in full. I am informed that, so far as gas coke is concerned, regular consumers in the areas concerned are receiving their supplies. If the hon. Members know of any of their constituents who have had difficulty in getting supplies, and will let me have the details, I will cause immediate inquiries to be made.
I understand that allocations of hard coke to the North Riding are being honoured in full. In the East Riding, there has been some interruption of supplies from the Harworth Coke Ovens, but the despatch of normal quantities has now been resumed.