§ 30. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the Secretary for Mines how many amalgamations have now been made in the coal-mining industry; and how many pits are affected?
§ 32. Mr. TINKER
asked the Secretary for Mines the number of amalgamations that have taken place since the passing of the Mining Industry Act, 1926; and will he say what proportion they comprise of the total number of collieries in England, Scotland and Wales?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Commodore Douglas King)
I made a report to Parliament on this subject on 5th November last. One scheme involving 19 pits and about 16,300 workpeople has since been approved by the Railway and Canal Commission, and another affecting 9 pits and 6,100 workers is now before them. The amalgamations completed since August, 1926, cover about 16 per cent. of the industry.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman satisfied with this rate of progress?
§ Commodore KING
It is not for me to express an opinion, but I think the answer shows that considerable progress has been made.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Does not the hon. and gallant Gentleman think it is clear that general amalgamation will not operate as a result of the voluntary efforts of the coalowners?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Do not the figures just given by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, showing that only 16 per cent. have been amalgamated since 1926, prove that voluntary effort is insufficient?
§ Mr. BATEY
Are the amalgamations as numerous as the Government expected when they passed the Mining Industry Act?