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Volume 531: debated on Monday 26 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how much coal has been imported since the end of the last coal winter to the latest convenient date; how much of these imports have been house-coal; how much more imported house-coal he expects to arrive before 31st December, 1954; and whether he is satisfied that all these imports when added to indigenous supplies will be sufficient to avert a shortage during the forthcoming winter.

A quarter of a million tons, all of which, apart from screening losses, represents a direct or indirect addition to house coal supplies. I cannot say how much more will arrive this year, but the object of the steps being taken by my right hon. Friend is to safeguard supplies for next winter.

Does that reply mean that the winter prospects for house coal are now a good deal brighter than when the rather guarded statement was made six weeks ago?