§ 25 and 26. Mr. ROBINSON
asked the Secretary for Mines (1) whether he has yet reached terms of settlement with the coalowners in regard to the inter-district co-ordination of minimum prices; if so, what have been the terms of the settlement and when will it come into operation;
(2) whether, following negotiations between himself and the coalowners, he can now inform the House whether the Government intend to proceed with the new Coal Mines Bill?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The Bill which was introduced into this House on 15th February, 1934, covers the inter-district co-ordination of minimum prices. I have informed the President of the Central Council of Colliery Owners that if agreement can be reached covering the matters 360 dealt with in the Bill in a manner considered satisfactory by His Majesty's Government, effect will be given to such agreement by Order and the Bill withdrawn. As, however, the coalowners have tried for nearly two years to reach agreement, but have not succeeded, the Government has no intention of delaying the Bill which will be proceeded with in the normal course.
§ Mr. ROBINSON
May we then take it that in no circumstances will the Secretary for Mines depart from his original pledge to secure an effective amendment of Part I of the Coal Mines Act?
§ Mr. GEOFFREY PETO
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this Bill is very distasteful to many coalowners in the north?
§ Mr. PALING
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the coalowners are still trying to come to an agreement or whether they have given up all hope?