CHRISTGHURGH, May 7. The shortage of coal locally is really acute and practically all merchants have to keep their customers waiting, I and can then supply only mixed classes of coal. Kaitangata and Homebush | are coming to hand fairly well, but the demand is greatly in excess of the supply. Coal from the West Coast is really scarce, due largely to : the shortage of shipping, and imported coal is very hard to obtain. Most of the merchants' yards are empty of coal, as it is supplied to their customers as soon as it arrives, and many people are kept waiting as much as a fortnight before their orders can be attended to. The State Coal Department cannot accept any more orders as it is unable to meet the demand, and for good quality unscreened coal it is charging £2 2s a ton or 3s 6d a bag. This coal, however, contains a fair amount of slack. One merchant stated that he did not think the position was any worse than it was last winter, and if the public did not get into a panic they would be able to get coal. At it was, however, some people were trying to get coal from a number of merchants, with a view to hoarding it, with the result that others had to go short. If the householders would be satisfied with a little at a time they would get through the winter all right, but if a panic occurred there was certain to be a difficulty.
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DOMINION REPORTS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9603, 7 May 1919
DOMINION REPORTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9603, 7 May 1919
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