§ 84. Sir CHARLES EDWARDS
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that the workmen of the Markham Colliery, Monmouthshire, have been agitating for pit-head baths for the last five or six years; that a ballot was taken at that time and showed an overwhelming majority in favour; and that negotiations are supposed to have been going on between the colliery company and the railway company, who own the site, for the whole of that time, so far without result; and will he endeavour to bring these negotiations to an end so that the work may proceed?
The SECRETARY for MINES (Captain Crookshank)
I am aware of all the circumstances in this case, and I greatly deplore the delay which has occurred in building the baths. There have been exceptional difficulties, both in regard to the choice of site, part of which is the property of the railway company, and as to the conditions of its acquisition. The hon. Member is no doubt aware that the conduct of the negotiations is a matter for the colliery company concerned, and 527 not one in which I have any authority to interfere. My predecessor did all he could to expedite a satisfactory settlement and I shall do the same.
§ Sir C. EDWARDS
Seeing that this matter has been about such an unconscionable time will the Minister take steps to call representatives of the colliery, the railway company and the workmen together to expedite a decision? I do not think they would refuse, if that were done, and it might help.
I will note the hon. Member's suggestion. As I say, we shall do our best to get a satisfactory settlement.