1. Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL
asked the President of the Board of Trade if the contribution by coal owners, based on tonnage output, for social welfare purposes for coal workers is in operation; what amount it is expected will be collected annually from this source; 2 whether the fund will be administered nationally or locally; and if it is proposed to apply the same arrangement to other industries where the need for a social welfare organisation is equally marked?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Bridgeman)
The fund to which the hon. and gallant Member refers is constituted by Section 20 of the Mining Industry Act, 1920. Contribution to it is not yet in operation. The amount of the first payment is to be calculated with reference to the output during the last six months of the present year, and is to be paid before 31st March, 1921. The contribution is at the rate of Id. per ton of output. The amount collected will depend therefore upon the tonnage raised, but an approximate estimate would be at the rate of £1,000,000 per annum. The last payment will be due in 1926. The duty of allocating the money to such purposes as may be approved by the Secretary for Mines will be vested in a central committee, but special provision is made for co-operation and consultation with district committees and local authorities. I am not aware of any proposal to introduce statutory provisions of the same character in other industries.
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
That is a question for the Government. I am very glad that the coal mining industry should have led the way in the right direction.
Sir J. D. REES
Would it not be fair, if it is proposed to impose this tax on the coal industry, to also impose it on other industries?