§ 16 and 17. Mr. TINKER
asked the Secretary for Mines (1) the number of mines closed down in Lancashire during 1930 and the number closed in 1931;
(2) the number of persons thrown out of work through the closing of the mines that were closed down in Lancashire during 1930 and 1931 to date?
§ Mr. ISAAC FOOT
Sixteen pits, employing 986 wage-earners, were closed during 1930 and have not since re-opened. The corresponding figures for 1931 (to 21st November) are 18 pits, employing 3,490 wage-earners.
§ Mr. TINKER
Before the hon. Gentleman answers that question, can he say whether, before they are closed, any questions are put to the Minister of Mines in regard to the closing of them?
§ Mr. FOOT
No inquiry has been made as to these particular pits. Unfortunately, the experience to which I have referred is not confined to Lancashire. The number of wage-earners this year is less than the number last year. I do not think there is any direct association between this and the operation of the Coal Mines Act.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
With reference to the hon. Gentleman's statement that the number of wage-earners has decreased, has the output of coal increased or decreased?