HC Deb 20 June 1960 vol 625 cc16-7
22. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Minister of Power what consultation he had with the National Union of Mineworkers before appointing the successor to Sir James Bowman as chairman of the National Coal Board.

Mr. Wood

None, Sir.

Mr. Roberts

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that most of my hon. Friends really appreciate the appointment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Blyth (Mr. Robens) and that we wish him success and distinction in carrying out the duties of the post? However, does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate the magnitude of the appointment? Does he not appreciate that when making an appointment like this it is as well to consult the people who are connected with the industry, not with a view to accepting their opinion but so that we may be assured of full co-operation?

Mr. Wood

I understand that the acting president of the National Union of Mineworkers has himself said that the union has never been consulted about the appointment of the chairman and that it did not question the right of the Government to appoint a successor to Sir James Bowman without consultation. I therefore felt that I had discussed the possibility of the right hon. Gentleman's appointment, which I am delighted to find gives the 'hon. Gentleman pleasure, adequately enough with others in the industry who would be fully in possession of the views likely to be held by the National Union of Mineworkers.

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