§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there is dissatisfaction on the part of the Co-operative Consumers' Council as to the distribution of coal in Glasgow; whether he is aware that Mr. Burton, of the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society, was, on the suggestion of the Coal Controller's Department, nominated to allocate emergency coal among the various societies, and that the said Department wrote on 3rd January, 1919, confirming the said nomination and advising that arrangements were being made to enable Mr. Burton to fulfil the duties confided to him; whether he is further aware that Sir Adam Nimmo, chairman of the Coal masters' Association, declined to accede to the arrangement above set forth or to allocate emergency coal in the terms thereof; and what steps he proposes to take to induce Sir Adam Nimmo to observe the instructions of the Coal Controller's Department?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The facts of this case are as follows. Emergency coal is allocated to local authorities and not to trade. The local authority is responsible for the distribution. A local authority may delegate its powers. In Glasgow, the coal merchants' supervisor undertook the distribution. As the interests of co-operative societies in Glasgow were very large, it was suggested that the powers of the local authority might be delegated to a nominee of the societies; in respect of half the emergency supplies. Mr. Burton was their nominee, and no objection is raised to his acting within the principles laid down for this purpose. It is true that the District Coal and Coke Supplies Committee, of which Sir Adam Nimmo is chairman, had certain objections to the form of the proposed arrangements, but these difficulties have been disposed of.