asked the Minister of Fuel and Power on what basis he reported the London price of oil for foreign bunkers as 103s. per ton; whether he is aware that the normal price paid by shipowners is 89s.; and what would be the equivalent prices reckoned thermally for coal.
One hundred and three shillings a ton is the price at which the oil companies will make day-to-day deliveries in the London docks, and includes 4s. in respect of lighterage charges. Shipowners prepared to enter into longterm contracts are able to negotiate a lower price which, I am informed, is commonly 89s. a ton ex installation. For delivery in the London docks the lighterage charge of 4s. would be added making a total of 93s. which, on a thermal basis of four tons of coal to three tons of oil, is equivalent to a price of 69s. 9d. a ton for coal