10 SEPTEMBER 1921, Page 3

The ways of the coal trade are mysterious. On Monday,

we were told, the London coal merchants decided that there would be no reduction in the prices of coal this year. On Tues- day it was announced that the prices of coal in Central London would be reduced by amounts varying from Is. to 4s. a ton. Some merchants suggested that there had been " market fluc- tuations " overnight ; others, less ingenious, admitted that the public would not buy at the prices demanded. We all know that the miners' wages have been reduced, that the pithead price of coal has fallen, and that there is much unemployment in the coalfields. Nevertheless, coal in London is as dear as ever.