HC Deb 29 January 1929 vol 224 cc742-4

asked the Secretary for Mines whether there has been any reduction in the amount of mining royalties levied per ton of coal since the termination of the dispute in 1926; and whether he can state the amount for the various minefields?

Commodore KING

The average royalties per ton in every district except one were lower in the quarter ended September, 1928, than in the last quarter before the 1926 dispute. In the case of South Wales the average reduction is nearly 1d. per ton and in the case of Durham over a ½d. per ton. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement showing the royalties paid quarter by quarter and district by district during the first quarter of 1926 and from the 1st January, 1927, to 30th September, 1928.


If the figures indicate that on the average there has been a reduction of a halfpenny per ton on mineral royalties, is that what the hon. and gallant Member regards as an extensive reduction? Is it to be compared at all with the conditions existing in the mining industry?

Royalties per ton Disposable Commercially in each District and Great Britain in 1926, 1927 and 1928.
District. Quarter ended.
31st March, 1926. 31st March, 1927. 30th June, 1927. 30th Sept., 1927. 31st Dec., 1927. 31st March, 1928. 30th June, 1928. 30th Sept., 1928.
d. d. d. d. d. d. d. d
Scotland 7.00 6.81 6.77 6.81 6.75 6.70 6.85 6.95
Northumberland 6.62 6.49 6.41 6.35 6.19 6.27 6.36 6.21
Durham 6.63 6.45 6.59 6.41 6.11 6.15 6.00 6.02
South Wales and Monmouth* 9.09 8.89 8.96 9.00 9.36 8.79 8.29 8.23
Yorkshire 4.51 4.94 4.96 4.91 4.92 4.87 4.72 4.66
North Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. 4.36 4.59 4.42 4.40 4.33 4.74 4.41
South Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Cannock Chase and Warwickshire. 4.00 4.33 4.17 4.09 3.79 4.36 4.11
Lancashire, Cheshire and North Staffordshire. 5.92 5.78 6.06 6.03 5.85 6.02 5.31 6.90
Cumberland, North Wales, South Staffordshire, Shropshire, Bristol, Forest of Dean, Somerset and Kent. 6.39 6.44 6.59 6.44 6.27 6.27 6.28 6.05
Great Britain 6.27 6.23 6.38 6.21 6.21 6.07 6.07 6.09
* The South Wales figures for 1927 and 1928, relate to quarters ended one month later than the dates shown.
49. Mr. OLIVER

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the financial charge imposed on the iron and steel trades by royalty rents on coal, iron ore and lime, and in view of the depression of the industry, the Government have considered, or are considering, the relieving of the industry from this charge?

Commodore KING

I have never said there was a large reduction. I think it is a substantial reduction of 1d. per ton.


Does this reduction come about automatically, according to the state of the trade, or have royalty owners made these reductions in response to applications made to them?

Commodore KING

No general reply would cover that question.


Is it not the fact that there would have been a larger reduction but for the contributions which have been made to the Miners' Welfare Fund?

Following is the statement;

Commodore KING

I have been asked asked to reply. The only ways of relieving the mining industries of royalties would be by purchase and cancellation or by confiscation. The Government is not prepared to adopt either of these courses.