§ Lieut.-Colonel VAUGHAN-MORGAN
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that delay, averaging five days, is occasioned at many ports in the United Kingdom in the loading of coal into ships waiting to transport it to other British ports for consumption in the United Kingdom; that coal is not forthcoming for consumption within the United Kingdom on account of the large quantities booked for export to Germany; and that coal is sold for foreign destinations at enhanced prices, whereby the buyer for home distribution is cut out of the market; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to secure adequate supplies for the home market?
§ Lieut.-Colonel LANE-FOX
I am aware that there has been considerable delay to vessels at many of the coal-loading ports in the United Kingdom, and I understand that my right hon. Friend the Minister for Labour has appointed a Court of Inquiryto inquire into the necessity of putting on a third shift for Coal tippers and trimmers in the South Wales coal exporting district.
As regards the last part of the question, I am unable to accept my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion that there is any such shortage of coal for home consumers in consequence of export to Germany, as would warrant the intervention of His Majesty's Government.