HC Deb 19 March 1951 vol 485 cc218-9W
22. Mr. Carr

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what priority of domestic coal supplies has been given to United States citizens temporarily resident in this country, either in a civilian capacity, or as members of the United States Armed Forces.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

As a general rule, the arrangements for the supply of coal and coke to United States civilians in this country are the same as the arrangements for British citizens. But if United States Service personnel, who live with their families outside their camps, apply for extra supplies above the normal allowance, regional coal officers deal with these applications in consultation with special liaison officers whom the U.S. authorities appoint. The needs of United States Service personnel who live in camps are met by the British Service authorities out of the fuel allocation which is made to each Service as a whole.

33. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if an extra ration of a hundredweight of coal a month can now be issued to householders in the North-Western region of England as has been the case in the North-Eastern region.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

With respect, I think the hon. Member must have been misinformed. The statutory restrictions on the supply of household coal, and the arrangements for the allocation of supplies, are the same for both the North-Eastern and the North-Western regions, and they have been adhered to in recent months.

75. Mr. J. Silverman

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what was the total amount of domestic coal delivered to Birmingham coal merchants in January and February of 1950 and in January and February of 1951.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

The coal merchants who trade from depots in the Birmingham district received 106,300 tons during the first eight weeks of 1951; they received 100,800 tons in the corresponding period a year ago. The merchants' stocks are today 1,200 tons greater than they were on 19th March, 1950.

76. Mr. Yates

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the circumstances in which Mrs. F. Vernum, 60, Anderton Street, Ladywood, was without coal for two weeks; what representations were made to the Birmingham fuel overseer by her or on her behalf; and what action was taken to deal with the complaint.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I am informed that Mrs. Vernum's registered merchant had not received any order from her for coal or coke since 31st October last. On that date her merchant delivered to her 10 cwt. of coal for which, until 10th March, she had made no payment. Until that date neither she nor anyone on her behalf had placed any further order for coal with the merchant and no representation had been made to the local fuel overseer. When, on 10th March, the local fuel overseer saw in the Press that Mrs. Vernum was without coal, he asked the merchant to offer her immediately 1 cwt. of coal for cash on delivery. This offer was not accepted, but when Mrs. Vernum's son paid for the original consignment of 10 cwt. the merchant delivered a further 7 cwt. on credit.

77. Mr. Yates

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power in how many cases during 1950 and 1951 have Birmingham coal merchants been unable to honour priority certificates for coal delivery to aged and sick persons in the City of Birmingham due to shortage of coal stocks.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

The local fuel overseer for Birmingham does not know of a single case where a priority certificate for sick and aged persons or for other persons who are suffering hardships has not been honoured by a delivery of coal.