asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the total weight of ash in the coal used for industrial purposes and for domestic purposes in Great Britain during 1942; whether any estimate has been made in terms of thermal units of the waste in hauling such ash about the country; and in view of the increased efficiency in boiler plant which would result if this ash were eliminated, what action he proposes to take?
I regret that it is impossible to provide the statistics for which my hon. Friend asks. Every effort is being made, however, to maintain the standards of preparation of coal for both industrial and domestic purposes, and to reduce the length of haulage of fuel with high ash contents.
Are all the coal washing plants being used, and is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman taking any steps to increase them?
We are doing everything we can to increase the supply of the washers I think he has in mind, but the hon. Member will realise that there is a shortage of material and also of labour.