§ 19. Sir R. THOMAS
asked the Secretary for Mines how many collieries in South Wales and Monmouthshire and in North Wales, respectively, which were closed on 31st December, 1928, have since resumed work; and what is the aggregate number of men employed in them?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Commodore Douglas King)
The number of pits in South Wales and Monmouthshire which were closed on 31st December, 1928, and have since re-opened is 53, employing 14,880 wage-earners at the present time. No pits in North Wales have been re-opened since 31st December, 1928.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Can the hon. and gallant Member give any reason why the mines were closed down at the end of last year? Has there not been reorganisation?
§ Commodore KING
I presume that they were closed down because they had not been paying, but in the meantime they have been rendered able to pay, partly, I hope, by the freight reduction.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
May I ask if this happy state of affairs is not a direct result of the legislation passed by this House for a permissive eight hours underground?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Is it not a fact that the main reason why these pits have been reopened is that the price of coal has gone up by 2s. to 2s. 6d. a ton since December last?