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The Price Of Coal

Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 August 1907

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I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been called to a statement of Sir George Livesey, at the meeting of the South Metropolitan Gas Company, to the effect that the abolition of the export duty of 1s. per ton had unduly raised the cost of coal and had increased the foreign demand for it, to the detriment of the industries of this country; and whether, having regard to the price of coal likely to prevail during this coming winter and to the, hardship that this will entail, he will consider the suggestion of Sir George Livesey to impose an export duty of 2s. a ton so as to put some check on excessive export.

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the cost of coal at the pit mouth was only 8s. 5¾d. per ton, and that the excessive price which the consumer had to pay was due to the action of the middlemen taking advantage of the excessively cold summer to keep up the winter prices throughout the season.

My attention has been called to the statement referred to, but I do not concur in it. I am not prepared to consider the reimposition of the duty, either at 2s. a ton, or at any other rate.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman concur in the statement that the abolition of the coal duty has tended to increase the price of coal?