25. Major Lloyd
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the total cost of the celebrations, including the provision of pamphlets to all colliery workers, held to mark the occasion of the nationalisation of the coalmining industry; whether the material for National Coal Board flags was supplied from couponed stocks; and on what grounds the notice outside each colliery states that it is owned by the National Coal Board.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I have no information as to the total cost of these celebrations, which was borne by the National Coal Board. I understand that the answer to the second part of the Question is "No." As regards the third part, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the provisions of the Coal Industry (Nationalisation) Act, 1946.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his own Ministry in the North-Eastern region, in encouraging high revelry on this inauspicious occasion, definitely suggested that there should be organised all kinds of functions, to include not only the national Press and the radio, but personality film contests, the winners of which should be transported to London and presented to the Minister?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Why should there not be jubilation when we have succeeded in doing something which the hon. and gallant Member and his party have resisted for 50 years?
§ Viscount Hinchingbrooke
Is it not quite clear that the right hon. Gentleman is so determining his position that when he wants to give instructions to the Coal Board he gives them, and when the House wants his answers to Questions he refuses them?
§ Mr. Kirkwood
Was not the mistake that was made simply that they used a blue flag when they should have used a red flag?