§ 62. Mr. LAWSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a contract has recently been made by a Middlesbrough steel and iron firm for the supply of 20,000 tons of coke from Germany; whether he can state the price of this coke and the prices tendered 559 by English firms for the same contract; and whether he can give any explanation of this matter, in view of the reductions of wages suffered by the miners in the northern coalfield, from which source Middlesbrough usually takes its coal and coke?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Colonel Lane Fox)
I have seen a statement to that effect in the Press, but have no official information on the subject and am unable to give the hon. Member the particulars for which he asks.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to get to know the facts asked for in the question?
§ Colonel LANE FOX
Yes, but I do not think there is anything my Department can do. It is purely a question of difference in price.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the men in the Northern coalfields have had drastic reductions in wages, that coke is packed up in various yards in Durham produced at these lower rates, and that it is still 10s. a ton over the pre-stoppage price?