HC Deb 07 December 1931 vol 260 cc1516-7

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the widespread dissatisfaction about the working of the Coal Mines Act, he will take steps to repeal or revise this Act?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Isaac Foot)

I have been asked to reply. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave on 19th November to the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer). The working of the Act is being closely observed.


The hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer) did not ask what I ask in my question. Is it the intention of the Government to repeal or to revise this Act? That is an entirely different matter, and I ask for a reply.


Already there has been published a White Paper showing the working of Part I of the Act in the first two quarters of the present year. Within a few days there will be published another White Paper reviewing the operation of Part I of the Act in the second two quarters of this year. Before the Government can come to any decision as to the revision or repeal of the Act, they must give full consideration to its working during those periods.


Has any information been furnished as to the damage caused by the working of this Act?

73. Major NATHAN

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is able to give any information as to the work of the amalgamation commissioners appointed under the Coal Mines Act, 1930, and, in particular, as to any amalgamations effected under schemes prepared or approved by such commissioners?


During the year the commission have been engaged in obtaining and collating information regarding the technical and financial position in each of the coalfields. First Sir Ernest Gowers, and later the whole commission, have visited each coalfield in the country and conferred with the owners on the general policy to be followed. The round of visits by the commission is still in progress. In view of the intricacy and difficulty of the problem it is as yet too early to expect important definite results, but, as I informed the hon. Member for Shettleston on 1st December, one amalgamation has been completed and two more are now before the Railway and Canal Commission.