asked the Minister of Power if he is aware of the shortage of anthracite grains 1A, a smokeless fuel, in central Norfolk; and what action he is taking to remedy the shortage.
There is a strong demand for this quality of grain and the National Coal Board is having difficulty in meeting all demands quickly. Where there are difficulties, the Board does its best to offer a satisfactory alternative.
Is my hon. Friend aware that my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, Central (Mr. Collard)—who unfortunately cannot be here as he is convalescing after an illness—has received many bitter complaints about this problem? Does he recall that my hon. Friend wrote to him last year about it, and can he do any more to speed up delivery of this type of fuel?
The Board can offer lower grades of anthracite grain. Heavy capital expenditure has been incurred in South Wales in providing for future increases of output. That capital expenditure is now making a small contribution to output, and the contribution should steadily increase.