HC Deb 30 July 1919 vol 118 cc2099-100

asked the Prime Minister whether he has now fixed a date for the statement in this House of the Government's policy in regard to the nationalisation of the mining industry?

51. Lieut. Colonel CAMPION

asked whether an opportunity will be given to debate the question of the nationalisation of the mining industry on a date previous to the declaration of policy by the Government?

60. Major NEWMAN

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that, in the speeches made by himself and the Lord Privy Seal in November and December of last year, and in which the electorate were asked to support a Coalition Government, no mention was made of the nationalisation of any of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; and, if the Government have determined to deal with the subject, will he announce its policy before the Recess, so that it may be debated in the country before an Autumn Session?

67. Lieut.-Colonel POWNALL

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention had been called to the suggestion for the establishment of a Ministry of Mines in the Report of Sir A. Duckham; and, if so, whether he is yet in a position to state the views of the Government with regard thereto?

68 and 69. Major BARNES

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether, in view of the complete agreement in all the Reports of the Coal Commission that great changes must be made in the administration of the coal industry and the substantial agreement between all the Reports on the nature of the changes, he will say whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce the necessary legislation required to enable those changes to be carried out under the direction of a Ministry of Mines or a Mines Department, while leaving the question of nationalisation to be decided after the effect of these changes has been seen;

(2) Whether, in view of the complete agreement in all the Reports of the Coal Commission that the coal royalties should be nationalised, he will say whether it is the intention of the Government to nationalise the coal royalties?

74. Major TRYON

asked the Prime Minister if his attention has been called to the Motion, on the subject of the nationalisation of the mining industry, standing in the name of the senior Member for Brighton; and will he give an early day for the discussion of this matter?


I regret that I am not in a position to add anything to what I said in reply to questions on this subject in the House yesterday.


Will the right hon. Gentleman remember that approval by the House of Commons is necessary to give full authority to the Government plan, whatever it may be, for dealing with this urgent national question, and that the House may not be sitting?


We fully realise that, and there can be no question of any action of any kind being taken by the Government without the approval of the House of Commons.


Are we likely to have a statement before the Recess?


I have said so many times, but I am sure that hon. Members realise that there is no question more important and more vital to the interests of the nation, and it is not unreasonable that it should be examined from every point of view before a statement is made.


Has the Government a mandate from the country to nationalise any thing?


So far as I know, I do not think there ever was an election where it was made plainer that the problems before us could not be defined in advance, and that we must rely upon the House of Commons to support us in any steps necessary for dealing with them.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any claim was made by any candidate in favour of the question of nationalising a single mine?


I would not like to say that no candidate made that claim, but certainly I did not.

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