86. Miss Ward
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether coal stocks in all parts of the country are now adequate to meet the maximum demands in a severe winter.
§ 94. Mr. J. N. Browne
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power to what extent coal stocks for the winter will have approached the planned level of 16.5 million tons by 31st October.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
In recent weeks the output of deep-mined coal has been less than the estimate that had been made: the output of opencast coal has been reduced by heavy and continued rain. In consequence, stocks at the end of October are expected to be about 15¾ million tons. To this must be added about 300,000 tons, which, as the result of the summer prices scheme, are now in the consumers' cellars instead of in the coal merchants' stocks. Thus stocks at the end of October will be short of the target by about 400,000 tons. I have given instructions that during November and December deliveries to inland consumers shall be increased by this amount. Thus stocks at the end of December should be the same as if the October target had been reached.