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Colliery Tips (Picking-Over)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that in colliery dirt rucks there are substantial quantities of coal which could be sorted and which would help to alleviate the coal shortage; and if he will look into the case of the dirtruck at the Brackley pit of the Manchester colliery, where 100 tons of coal per week could be obtained if permission were once again granted for the ruck to be sorted.

While I sympathise with my hon. Friend's objective, I would point out that the grant of permission for picking over colliery tips is entirely a matter within the discretion of individual colliery companies. As regards Brackley Pit, I understand that so long as they are satisfied that the privilege is not being abused, the company concerned do not object to a limited number of persons picking over the tip. As regards my hon. Friend's suggestion that colliery tips generally could be picked over for usable fuel, I am not satisfied that the quantity of coal likely to be recovered, and the risks involved, would justify the diversion of manpower for this purpose.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will arrange for local fuel overseers to purchase coal extracted from pit rucks at a fixed price, to help alleviate the shortage which now exists.

No, Sir. It would be wasteful of manpower to organise the extraction of this coal and there are already ample powers in the Coal Distribution and Retail Prices Orders to regulate its disposal and price where that is necessary.