HC Deb 22 May 1950 vol 475 cc216-8W
99. Mr. Prescott

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that many persons residing in North-East Lancashire find it impossible to obtain their full allocation of coal; and what steps he will take to remedy this position.

107. Mr. Assheton

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware of the dissatisfaction in Blackburn, due to the fact that winter coal allocations to coal merchants fell considerably short of promised deliveries and were very inferior in quality; and what were the reasons.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I am aware that there has recently been some dissatisfaction in North-Eastern Lancashire both about the amount and the quality of household coal supplies. As to the reasons, I would refer the hon. Members to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) on 15th May. On the general question of the supply of coal for household consumption, I informed the House on 20th and 29th March that this was under urgent consideration and I have as yet nothing to add to what I said then. As regards quality, I described the action being taken to improve the position in my reply to a question on 8th May.

103. Mr. Oakshott

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what steps he intends to take to deal with complaints from the Birkenhead and Wirral districts regarding the quality and condition of house coal; and when larger allocations of better quality house coal may be expected in these districts.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I understand that the complaints referred to arise from the fact that, in order to prevent a serious shortage in Birkenhead and Wirral in the three months February to April, it was necessary to include a higher proportion of Lancashire coal and a lower proportion of West Midlands coal in the allocation for these districts during this period. This, however, was only a temporary arrangement, as is explained in the enclosures in the letter sent to the hon. Member by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary on 3rd May. I am advised that the proportion of West Midlands coal included in this allocation has now been restored to the normal level for this time of year,

105. Mr. Perkins

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware of the poor quality coal being delivered to Nos. 22 and 26, B Site, Moreton Valence, near Gloucester; and what steps he proposes to take to improve matters.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

As I have said in reply to previous Questions, the settlement of individual complaints about the quality of coal rests not with my Department but between the buyer and seller in accordance with normal commercial practice, and I regret I cannot intervene. As regards the general problem of coal quality, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson) on 8th May.

Forward to