HC Deb 19 December 1919 vol 123 cc855-6
6. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether at various times in the last 100 years in the county of Cardigan over 260 metal mines have been in operation, and how many are working now; in Derbyshire over 194 mines in the production of lead ore, and how many are working now; in Cornwall as many as 259 mines for tin, lead, copper, and zinc, and how many are working now; whether in nine cases out of ten the cessation of the industry is due to the rent and royalty paid to landlords; whether the Non-Ferrous Metals Committee is inquiring into this aspect of the question; whether in their Report they will give reasons why the recommendations of the Mining Royalties Commission of 1893 were never adopted; what is the reason for holding the Non-Ferrous Metals Inquiry in secret and excluding the Press; and when may either their Report or an Interim Report with minutes of evidence to date be expected?


I understand that the number of mines which have been worked in the last 100 years in Cardigan, Derbyshire, and Cornwall are approximately as stated, and that there are now working four mines in Cardigan, two in Derbyshire, and about fifty in Cornwall. The decline in the industry is due to a variety of causes now under investigation by a Departmental Committee which for some time has been taking evidence on three days of each week. I understand that the Committee decided that in view of the nature of the Inquiry it was advisable that its sittings should be private. I am unable to anticipate the contents of their Report, or to say when it will be presented, but the Committee are proceeding with the Inquiry as rapidly as possible.