22. Mrs. WARD
asked the Secretary for Mines if he is in a position to say how many collieries will be closed as a result of the amalgamation schemes of the Coal Mines Re-organisation Commission; and how many miners will be affected?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)
I cannot express any opinion as to the possible effects upon individual collieries, or upon employment, of such schemes of amalgamation. To what extent amalgamation of colliery companies may mean the closing of pits will always depend upon the policy of the 1872 directorate of the amalgamated company after formation.
Is my hon. Friend aware of the ill-effect this uncertainty is having in the Cannock Chase coalfield?
§ Mr. SMITHERS
May I ask my hon. Friend whether these collieries could not be kept open if there was more elasticity in the quota arrangements?
23. Mrs. WARD
asked the Secretary for Mines if he is in a position to give any details of the proposals of the Coal Mines Reorganisatoin Commission for the amalgamation of collieries in Cannock Chase; and if he can state the number of collieries to be included in the scheme?
§ Mr. BROWN
I am informed that the Commission have not yet formulated any scheme in this district. They are at present engaged, through professional agents appointed by them for the purpose, in investigating the circumstances and prospects of the 13 companies of which the district substantially consists and I understand that there can be no question of any scheme being prepared until this investigation has been completed.
Can my hon. Friend tell us what is to happen to the 13 collieries which are outside the scheme?