§ Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
asked the Secretary for Mines whether it is proposed under the provisions of the Lancashire and Cheshire District (Coal Mines) Scheme (Amendment) Order (No. 2) to provide for increased prices of coal to specified classes of consumers; and whether he can give an assurance that before any proposal to this effect is put into operation there shall be a consultation with representatives of the classes of consumers likely to be adversely affected?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
Under the provisions of this Order, the Lancashire and Cheshire Executive Board will be empowered to sell coal on behalf of all coal-owners in that district. The Board will sell in the ordinary way of business, and there will no doubt be the usual consultations as between buyer and seller. One of the objects of the scheme is to ensure an economic return to the coal industry in the district, but I would remind my hon. Friend that the consumer will not only have the protection afforded by the competition of other fuels and coal produced in other districts, but he will have the right of complaint to the District Committee of Investigation with regard to any action of the Executive Board. If my hon. Friend desires, I shall be happy to discuss the details of the scheme with him.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I take it that there is no intention to discriminate against any particular class of customer?
Mr. DI CKIE
Is it not a fact that there is a, wide field in which the pithead price could be raised to the consumer without doing the slightest harm to anybody, thereby allowing a decent wage to be paid to the miners?