asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what are the prices of the main types of coal, both industrial and domestic, at the pithead and to the consumer, respectively; what are the transport charges; and what are the allowances to distributors.
The price of coal at the pithead varies according to its quality and to the district in which it is produced. The price delivered to the consumer varies with the distance the coal has to be transported and many other factors influencing the cost of distribution. The transport charges vary according to the method by which the coal is moved and the distance of the coalfield from the market. The allowances to distributors vary according to the nature of the service they render and to the costs of distribution in different areas.
As there seems to be some sort of variation in the answer, could my right hon. Friend provide me with some sort of standards on which I could make estimates in regard to these charges?
If my hon. Friend would be more precise in the Question he asks, I will endeavour to give him an answer.
Could the Minister say whether the price of domestic coal should be the same in all districts in a City such as Glasgow?
That all depends on the circumstances. At present some of the coal supplied in Glasgow has to be brought from Northumberland and has to carry extra transport charges.
Does not the quality of the coal vary a good deal, too?