asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is aware that in the trade paper, "Machinery," dated 29th March, the National Coal Board, the British Electricity Authority and the British Gas Council took a full-page advertisement in which they requested consumers to be careful with coal, electricity and gas until April; and, in view of the fact that there were only two days from the time of publication until the end of March, whether he will ask his Fuel and Power Publicity Coordination Committee to inquire why this was done.
The Committee to which the hon. Member refers was charged with the responsibility of securing that the policy followed by the Department and the fuel and power industries was properly co-ordinated, and the advertisement in question follows the general lines laid down by the Committee. The Committee had no responsibility for the insertion of advertisements in particular papers at particular times. This is a matter for the industry concerned to arrange with the paper through the normal channels.I agree that the advertisement might have had more effect if it had been published earlier but I cannot agree with the suggestion that the words "until April" necessarily mean until the beginning of April; nor do I think that the general public would read it in this sense.