HC Deb 15 December 1932 vol 273 cc520-1

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that, owing to having exhausted their quota, the Lothian Coal Company have had to post notices at their pits in the Newbattle area to the effect that they will only work three days a week, although orders are being left unfulfilled; that a firm of coal exporters in Leith, which has sufficient Scandinavian orders to keep these pits working full time, is by their enforced idleness under the quota restrictions having to cancel these orders and pay an indemnity for doing so; that these orders are being transferred to Poland; and whether, in view of these and similar cases, he will consider taking steps to introduce greater elasticity into the working of the Coal Mines Act?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)

My attention had already been called to the difficulties in the Scottish coalfields, but I understand that at yesterday's meeting of the Central Council the application by the Scottish coal owners for an additional allocation of 150,000 tons for the current quarter was granted in full.

Captain RAMSAY

Is it possible for the Scottish Executive Board to differentiate between export and inland coal, so as to avoid having a surplus of the one and a deficiency of the other?


Under Clauses 28 and 33 of the Scottish District Scheme it is competent for the Scottish Executive Board of Coalowners to determine standard tonnages and quotas on a "class"basis and thus to earmark output for export only. It is not possible to debate this point at Question Time.

Captain RAMSAY

In view of the answer which has been given, I beg to give notice that I will raise this subject on the Adjournment of the House.