§ 1. Mr. MARTIN
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can give the number of pits in the county of Durham which have closed down completely (i.e., machinery removed) in the last five years; the numbers temporarily closed (i.e., not working but machinery still installed); and the number in which the workable coal will not give more than another five to 10 years' employment at average rates of production?
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)
During the last five years, 66 pits in Durham, employing 3,759 men, have been abandoned and 30 pits, employing 5,739 men, have been closed, but not abandoned. More than half of these 96 pits were small pits employing 10 men each or less, and in the aggregate only 207 men. Generally speaking, it is when a mine is abandoned that the machinery is removed. The information asked for in the last part of the question is not available.
§ Mr. MARTIN
Cannot the hon. Gentleman make a further survey to obtain this kind of information in both the Durham and Northumberland coalfields, discovering the possible employment in the pits in the next few years?
§ Mr. MARTIN
Is it not a fact that the Royal Commission 10 years ago went into the question of the life of the pits, and could not the hon. Gentleman follow it up on that line?
§ Mr. McKEAG
Can the hon. Gentleman indicate the special parts of Durham in which these collieries that have been closed down are situated?