§ MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydfil)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has now received any reply from the Parliamentary Committee of the Mining Association of Great Britain to his inquiry as to whether they would support an extended investigation into the coal question; and, if so, whether he can state the tenour of it; and whether he has addressed similar inquiries to the representatives of colliery workmen, to chambers of commerce, coal-exporting ports, and to coal owners not connected with the Mining Association of Great Britain; whether, with the view of preventing an unsatisfactory conclusion from an inquiry confined to the probable effect of the coal duty, he can give an assurance that the investigation will be by Royal Commission and of a comprehensive scope; and whether he can before Clause 3 of the Finance Bill is reached give the terms of reference to, and the composition of, the Commission or Committee.
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I have received a reply, which I have no doubt the hon. Member is acquainted with, as it appears to have been printed and circulated to the various local associations. I can only say that it does not seem to me satisfactory. I have addressed no inquiries on the subject to the other bodies named, who have not communicated with me. The answer to the second and third paragraphs of the question is in the negative.