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Coal (Pbices)

Volume 154: debated on Monday 15 May 1922

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asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the high retail prices still charged for household coal despite the big reduction in production costs, the Government will consider as to appointing a committee to inquire into the question of coal costs and prices and to report, among other things, as to the various profits resulting from the handling of coal at the various stages before it reaches the consumer?

Such a committee would be ineffective without the reimposition of some form of control, and I think it would be better to give a longer trial to the policy of leaving these things to the ordinary play of economic forces.

Dons not the right hon. Gentleman think it would be advisable to communicate with these middlemen in order to ensure that cheaper coal shall be supplied to consumers in the future than at the present time?

There are so many different kinds of coal that it is very difficult—

There are many different kinds of household coal. The hon. and gallant Member might get some household coal at much less than the best price, but I am not sure whether he would keep his cook.