§ 62. Mr. VAUGHAN
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether he is aware of the dismantling now proceeding at the Foxes Bridge Colliery, near Cinderford; that the Forestry Commission will in consequence lose an income or royalties of about £1,000 per annum; and that the principal cause of closing is the flooding of water from an adjacent mine recently closed on Crown lands; whether he will see that the Commission takes urgent steps to prevent the water from the disused 803 mine flooding the Foxes Bridge Colliery, or compensate the owners for the cost of pumping the water; and whether he is aware that if the Foxes Bridge Colliery is closed the water will flood and cause to close still more collieries?
§ Mr. W. R. SMITH
The Forestry Commissioners are not aware of any dismantling at Foxes Bridge Colliery beyond the taking up of a few tram lines, but they are aware that the company is being voluntarily wound up, and that unless a new letting is arranged the Commissioners will lose rent or royalties of about £700 per annum. A certain amount of water has worked through from an adjacent mine recently closed, but the quantity is relatively small and could, in fact should, have been dealt with by Foxes Bridge Colliery Company in the ordinary course of management. A method of dealing with the water at a reasonable cost was pointed out to the company. The Commissioners are not under any liability to prevent the water working through from the disused mine or to compensate Foxes Bridge Colliery Company, and are not prepared to do so. It is possible that other collieries may be affected if Foxes Bridge Colliery is closed.
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
In view of the prevailing unemployment, will the Board of Trade ascertain from the present owners whether this colliery could be kept going if this surplus water was dealt with by the commission or somebody else?