COLONEL HERBERT (Monmouthshire, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to Cd. 3196, Mines and Quarries, General Report and Statistics, Part III., in which the output of pig iron and the amount of iron ore in use in the county of Monmouth are not stated, but are included in a general total with the county of Glamorgan; and whether, having regard to the fact that the number of blast furnaces in the two counties is exactly identical, while the average in blast during the year is 105 but slightly inferior in the county of Monmouth, he will recognise the necessity for remedying this defect in compilation by issuing a supplementary Report with figures for the county of Monmouth, and will give instructions that in future the Returns of the two counties be stated separately.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
The information which is tabulated in Tables 199 and 200 of the Annual General Return is supplied voluntarily by manufacturers and under a pledge of secrecy from the Home Office. To avoid disclosure of the output of any particular firm it is necessary to group counties to get her, as in some counties there is only one firm producing a particular kind of iron. The figures for Glamorgan and Monmouth before last year were grouped with Denbigh and Flint respectively; but in order to meet a wish expressed that the figures should be arranged so as to show the output for the South Wales and Monmouth coalfield separately the present grouping was adopted. It is too late now I am afraid to make any change in the statistics for 1905, but I will consider before the figures for the current year are issued whether, by obtaining permission to publish individual figures or otherwise, it will be possible to show the figures for the two counties separately.