asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will make a further statement on the possibility of relaxing restrictions on the purchase of domestic coal during the summer months.
Yes, Sir. The maximum permitted quantities for the year will remain unchanged, but I am making a direction which will enable householders in the North to buy up to 30 cwt. during the summer as compared with 20 cwt. last summer. In the South, householders will be able to buy up to 34 cwt. as compared with 24 cwt. last summer.
Am I to understand the Minister as saying that the South is to have more than the North, or did he get it the wrong way round, because the North is colder? But apart from that, is my right hon. Friend aware that householders will be grateful to the miners, to the National Coal Board and to himself for this improvement?
It has always been the case that while the total permitted quantity is greater in the North, because it is colder there, the amount which householders in the South have been allowed to buy in the summer months has been larger because they are further from the coalfields and because there are greater transport difficulties in the winter.
Is there to be any price reduction in the coal supplies available in the summer months?
That is a matter for the Coal Board.