§ 27. Mr. MARDY JONES
asked the Secretary for Mines what was the total amount of mining royalties payable on the coal output in Great Britain for 1928; can he state what is the estimated total sum paid in 1928 or 1927 as wayleaves for the passage of coal upshaft, for water passage and for air passage, underground, and for surface wayleaves, respectively, in and about the coal mines of Great Britain; and has his Department made any inquiry into the obstacles these various wayleave charges place upon the efficient, planning and working of the coal mines affected?
§ Commodore KING
The total sum paid in royalties and wayleaves by collieries in 1928 was about £5½ million. I do not have the separate figures asked for in the second part of the question. As regards the third part, I beg to remind the hon. Member that very full provision has been made by the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act, 1023, and Part II of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, for dealing with any matter which, contrary to the national interest, interferes with the best development of coal.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that that Act, while it facilitates the proper working of minerals under certain conditions, does not affect the main evils of wayleaves, whereever minerals are worked from numerous estates, and that all these varied wayleaves are still chargeable? Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman not think that nationalisation of 1755 minerals would abolish all these petty burdens, as we should then have only one landlord—the State?