MR. HASLAM (Monmouth Boroughs)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that dissatisfaction is felt by members of the Chamber of Commerce and the coal exporters of Newport, Mon., because, in accordance with the Mines Inspection District Regulation Order of 12th October, 1901, districts were allotted to Cardiff and Swansea, and named the Cardiff district and the Swansea district respectively, while Newport, which is a more important coal shipping port than Swansea, was included in the southern district, which includes not only the coal fields of Monmouthshire, for the production of which Newport is the natural shipping outlet, but also includes the practically non-coal-producing counties of Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Wilts, Hants, London, Sussex, Kent, and Surrey; and whether, seeing that the name of a port being associated with the coal shipped from it is considered a valuable asset as an advertisement, and that the preponderance of the weight of coal in the southern district is produced in the neighbourhood of Newport, he will take steps to alter the name of the southern district so that it shall be described as the Newport district, or allot a distinct district, to be named the Newport district, as in the case of Cardiff and Swansea.
§ (Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) The division of the country into districts for the inspection of mines and quarries must depend on the distribution of metalliferous mines and quarries as well as on that of coal mines, and the determination of the boundaries of those districts and the choice of their names must depend upon questions of administrative convenience. I will, however, consider the representation which has been made to me as soon as the Royal Commission on Mines has presented its Report.