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Eire (Coal From Great Britain)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1943

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20.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why certain colliery companies have been ordered to send coal to Dublin; and whether, in view of the shortage in this country this policy is to be continued?

The supply of coal for Eire has been considered by the Government from time to time and certain limited quantities have been made available. There has been no formal direction by the Ministry to collieries to provide coal for Eire. Supplies are released through the normal trade channels from those collieries where the coal can best be spared at the particular time.

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that some of this fuel will be used to provide light and heat to the German and Italian Legations in Dublin; and that, as so many Seaham pitmen are fighting Germans and Italians in North Africa, our company resent this.

It is not a matter for me to decide. The Government have agreed that certain limited quantities should go to Eire.

Is there any reason why coal should go to Ireland when we are so short in this country?

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman realise that there is universal support in the country for Ireland being allowed sufficient coal?