§ 21. Mr. Shinwell
asked the Minister of Power how many pits are intended to be closed in 1960; and which coal districts will be affected.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Has the information been conveyed to the mine workers in these coalfields? Are they kept aware of what is going to happen?
§ Mr. Nabarro
Could my right hon. Friend say, in connection with the 46 pits which are to be shut, what would be the aggregate displacement of mine workers involved in the shutting of those pits, and second, what would be the aggregate reduction in output caused by the shutting of the 46 pits?
Will the National Coal Board be able to place that number of men in other forms of employment? Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether 784 there will be unity between the National Coal Board and those who will be responsible for the working of the Local Employment Bill to ensure that new industry can be placed in those areas and that they will have priority?
§ Mr. Wood
To answer the second part of that supplementary question first, the National Coal Board is in extremely close touch with my right hon. Friends the Minister of Labour and the President of the Board of Trade on exactly that point. As to the first part of the supplementary question, the Board has had very considerable success so far in placing a very large proportion of displaced miners. I am glad to say that the percentage of miners unemployed is well below the national average.