100 Years Ago: Belleville Fuel Committee Meets with Coal Dealers

The Intelligencer January 29, 1918 (page 1)

“Fuel Committee Confers with Coal Dealers. At the Council Chamber yesterday afternoon the Fuel Committee of the City Council, composed of Mayor Platt, Aldermen Robinson and Parks, and Mr. T. H. Wills, fuel controller of the city, met the coal merchants of the city for the purpose of discussing and considering the coal situation in this city.

The coal dealers present were Messrs. A. P. Allen, Jas. Lynch, J. Gallagher, W. N. Belair, J. Downey and F. S. Anderson.

Mayor Platt presided over the gathering and outlined the object of calling the meeting, namely, to see what could be done to procure coal. Mr. Wills read a document which outlined the duties of a fuel controller and showed what measures could be taken to conserve fuel. The coal merchants by combining could do much to relieve present necessities.

Ald. Robinson referred to the fact that the Railway and Municipal Board had endorsed the city bylaw and the city was now empowered to start a civic fuel department.

The various coal dealers present stated that they had made every effort to keep citizens supplied with coal, but at the present time there was but a few tons of hard coal in the city, possibly enough for two or three days delivery. The question of supplying farmers with coal was referred to and the dealers stated that they were only supplying coal to farmers who had no wood whatever to burn.

Mr. A. P. Allen suggested that the fuel controller of the country be telephoned to ascertain if it was not possible to have some coal sent in here right away. The suggestion was endorsed by several of those present and the Mayor was asked to telephone to the Fuel Controller’s office at Ottawa. This he did.

Later it was ascertained that as a result of the action taken by the Mayor it was agreed to have two or three cars of hard coal sent to the city as soon as it was possible to do so.”