HC Deb 22 March 1912 vol 35 c2225

asked the Prime Minister whether the representatives of the coal owners at the recent conference only agreed to the proposals of the Government, dated 28th February, on the distinct understanding that, if necessary, arbitration would be made compulsory by Act of Parliament in order to secure due observance of contracts; whether many of the coal owners have stated that they would not have accepted those proposals except on that understanding; and whether they received further assurances that there would be penalties for breach of contract in the present Bill?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

The coal owners agreed to the proposals of the Government as embodied in their four propositions. I am not aware of any such understanding as is referred to in the question. No assurances were given in regard to the present Bill which was only informally discussed.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether any official minute was taken of the negotiations?


I am not sure. I would rather have notice of that.