HC Deb 05 March 1951 vol 485 cc12-4W
95 and 96. Mr. Yates

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power (1) the number of registered domestic coal consumers in Birmingham; and the number of applications for additional coal for aged and sick persons made to the Birmingham fuel overseer since 1st January last;

(2) whether all cases of hardship in connection with domestic coal supply for aged and sick persons have been relieved by the Birmingham fuel overseer.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

There are about 352,000 registered domestic consumers in Birmingham. Since 1st January the local fuel overseer has received about 5,300 applications for help over coal supplies for sick and aged persons. In about 2,600 of these cases, an additional supply of coal was considered necessary. Arrangements were made by the local fuel overseer for priority delivery of the additional amount in about 1,400 cases where an immediate supply was necessary to avoid distress. In the other 1,200 cases, licences for additional coal were issued for delivery in the normal way. The balance of the 5,300 applications were met by expediting a normal delivery. With the co-operation of the merchants, the local fuel overseer has, throughout the winter, been able to arrange for relief to be given in every case of difficulty which has been brought to his notice by or on behalf of the sick and aged.

98. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of the difficulties still being experienced by householders in Malvern and the surrounding districts in obtaining supplies of coal, he can now state what steps he has taken during the past two months to ensure more adequate supplies being made available.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I am making inquiries into the latest position in Malvern and district and will write to the hon. Member as soon as I can.

99. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that a number of consumers in East Anglia and elsewhere have not had their full allowance of fuel during the winter; and if he will allow them to make up their quota during the summer months.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

As I have explained on previous occasions, there is no ration of coal which all consumers are entitled to receive. Maximum quantities are fixed up to which householders may purchase coal, if supplies are available. I regret that it is not practicable to make good in one period deficiencies which arose in a previous period. But where hardship would otherwise arise, the local fuel overseer is empowered to authorise an extra supply.