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Domestic Supplies

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power, what instructions have been issued by his department to fuel controllers that cause them to intimate to the public in response to requests for permits that they are not permitted to issue stocking licences during the summer months unless the premises are difficult to reach in the winter; why the previous policy of utilising the summer months for stocking domestic cellars with the total quantity to which individuals are entitled has been rescinded and why no coal may be supplied until after 1st November.

Local fuel overseers have been instructed that licences for additional supplies for stocking should be granted only for those premises difficult of access in winter. Any consumer may, however, acquire between May and October, subject to supplies being available, the quantities permitted for that period under the restrictions, and this allows, as last year, for well distributed stocking of all the house coal available after providing for essential consumption and the necessary reserves at merchants' depots.

Can the right hon. Gentleman let the House know why 1st November was fixed as the date on and after which coal could be supplied?

Coal can be supplied between May and October up to a permitted quantity. Thereafter, more can be supplied according to availability.

But in this case my constituent was told he could not be supplied until after 1st November. What is the purpose of preventing people from stocking up before the winter comes?

I understand the hon. Member wrote to my Department about a particular case. I think it had reference to boiler fuel and not to domestic coal in general. 1f that is the case, then clearly the person concerned would not obtain the full quantity between May and October, but would have to wait until 1st November to see what additional quantities could be supplied.