14 JUNE 1924, Page 14


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Major J. Evelyn Wrench, in his "An Empire Day Letter," asks how far in the last twelve months we have dispensed with antiquated coal fires and substituted efficient, clean and healthy methods of heating. The answer is dis- appointing, but a beginning has been made by Nottingham, usually known as the "Clean City," whose citizens desire their town to merit the term more completely. They have adopted scientific means of treating their coal so as to make it smokeless at pit head, at the same time extracting oils which hitherto have been allowed to pollute the atmosphere in the shape of sun-obscuring smoke.

Nottingham will turn out, to begin with, nearly a quarte-.7 of a million tons of smokeless fuel annually. There are about 3,000 coal mines in Great Britain. If only a small proportion of these were to erect plants similar to those being installed at Nottingham pits, the country could furnish itself :with 40,000,000 tons of smokeless fuel, which is the quantity of raw coal now being burned in the domestic grates of the country each year. The smoke evil would be almost entirely abolished, 'for most of London's sunlessness is caused by the household fire. All readers of the Spectator should join the Sunlight League and work for this devoutly to be desired consummation.—I am, Sir, &c., N. GRAHAM THWAITES.

Barley End, 7'ring.