HC Deb 12 July 1928 vol 219 cc2443-4

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to a public meeting held at Abersychan by citizens of the district on 4th July to discuss the position of the men and women who are in distressed circumstances as a result of the closing down of the Varteg, Llanerch, and other collieries; whether he is aware that the representatives of the mine-owners and men had given an intimation to the conveners of the meeting that unless immediate relief was given to these areas more of the collieries would close down; and whether he will consider the reply to a deputation representative of the collieries of this district which recently waited on him?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)

I am not yet in a position to give any further information; but I hope to do so before the end of the Session.


Is the Minister aware that since he kindly consented to receive a deputation nearly 6,000 men employed in those collieries have been thrown out of employment; and is he also aware that those collieries used to export all their production to Spain, and that, as a result of the Spanish Government giving a subvention to the mine-owners and railways, all this production of coal previously exported to Spain has been cut out of the market? If the Chancellor of the Exchequer could expedite his Budget proposals by giving relief on coal, and especially the coal consumed in the iron and steel trade, it would enable those collieries to be started.


I am well aware that the situation is distressing and has got worse since we last discussed the question with the deputation. The question is entirely whether the remedy that it is in our power to use would be effective.

Commander WILLIAMS

Has the right hon. Gentleman noticed the extraordinary desire in certain quarters of the House that the Budget proposals should be expedited, while in other quarters those proposals are opposed?


I am very much concerned with this particular problem affecting South Wales and the North-East Coast.