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Domestic Coal Consumers' Council

Volume 654: debated on Monday 19 February 1962

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29.

asked the Minister of Power if he will appoint a domestic coal consumers' council in Scotland.

I think that Scottish interests are well represented by the Scottish members on the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council.

Is not the Minister aware of the fairly widespread sense of frustration in Scotland that there is no immediate avenue through which consumers can express their dissatisfaction? While I do not dissent from the good work of Scottish representatives on the National Council, is it not ridiculous that they have to travel 400 miles on urgent matters of complaint affecting consumers' rights?

Three of the 24 representatives on the Council come from Scotland. I am sure that they do not let Scottish affairs go by default. The question of regional consumers' councils has been discussed by the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council on previous occasions, but views as to the wisdom of setting them up were divided. If I had strong representations from the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council, no doubt I would consider them carefully.

In the consideration which the Minister gives to new regulations or to dealing with the matter of consumers' complaints, will he consider seriously any representations along these lines which are received meanwhile?

In thinking about this matter, will the Minister remember that he recognised recently that in Scotland there were coal problems peculiar to Scotland? Will he keep this in mind when considering the need for a Scottish domestic consumers' council?

I will keep that in mind. I am sure that those problems are very much in the minds of the three Scottish members on the Domestic Coal Consumers' Council.