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Smokeless Fuels (Scotland)

Volume 649: debated on Monday 20 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Power if he is aware that certain local authorities in Scotland have had to delay the application of certain provisions of the Clean Air Act, 1956, because of the shortage of smokeless fuels; and if he will make a statement.

No application for a smoke control area has been rejected because of shortage of smokeless fuel. Supplies in Scotland are at present adequate, and I understand that the Gas Board can increase its output of Gloco to accommodate a considerable expansion of smoke control areas.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that certain local authorities, without making application to higher bodies, are themselves, because of the local shortages, taking these decisions, which I am sure he will agree are rather unfortunate? Can he give us any information at this stage about the proposal made two or three years ago to have a manufacturing plant located in Scotland which would be sufficient to meet many of these shortages?

I cannot have any knowledge of what local authorities have not done. I can hold out no prospect that the new premium fuel to be manufactured by the National Coal Board will be available in Scotland before 1965 or 1966. I would also point out that the plant will be built only if the demand at that time justifies it. Therefore, it is very unwise for local authorities to do nothing but merely await the arrival of the new premium fuel.