asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why the five firewood dumps promised by the end of October in the city of Birmingham have now been cut down to one; and what he intends to do to see that the people in that city will not suffer during this winter as a result of this reduction.
The termination of the arrangements to stock 5,000 tons of wood fuel in Birmingham this winter is due entirely to shortage of labour. This does not affect supplies of wood fuel through normal trade channels and the amount of logs so being supplied to Birmingham is high compared to other parts of the country. Though I regret the absence of Government reserves of wood fuel in Birmingham, I can assure my hon. Friend that this will have no material affect on the fuel situation, since the stocks of house coal in Government dumps and merchants' depots are considerable.