HC Deb 15 July 1957 vol 573 cc746-7
9. Mr. G. Darling

asked the Paymaster-General what proportion of the pithead costs of coal is represented by wages.

Mr. Maudling

Sixty per cent. in 1956.

Mr. Darling

In view of the fact that this is an extractive and not a manufacturing industry and that about 200 mines produce coal at more than average cost, could the right hon. Gentleman tell us how it is possible to stabilise prices except by a great expansion of the investment programme so that these high-cost mines can be closed down?

Mr. Maudling

There are many factors involved in the way in which we can stabilise the price of coal, and reference is made to those in subsequent questions on the Order Paper today.

Captain Pilkington

Can my right hon. Friend clarify the public mind by saying to what extent the Government are responsible for the level of wages in the industry?

Mr. Maudling

The Government have no responsibility for the level of wages in the mining industry. That is a matter for the National Coal Board and the National Union of Mineworkers.

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