HC Deb 27 June 1960 vol 625 c959
27. Mr. Fitch

asked the Minister of Power how much has been paid in compensation for damage from mining subsidence since the Coal Mining (Subsidence) Act came into force to the latest convenient date.

Mr. George

For the years 1951 to 1957, £22 million, including about £2 million contributed by the Exchequer and, for the years 1958 and 1959, £8 million.

Mr. Fitch

Would not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that it is rather unjust that the National Coal Board should be held responsible for compensation for mining subsidence which occurred when the mines were operated by private enterprise? Does he not think that all this compensation should be borne by the Government, or paid for out of compensation given to the private mine owners?

Mr. George

All aspects of the responsibility for subsidence were fully discussed during the passage of the Bill, which, I think, received the general approval of the House.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Does not the Minister agree that this burden is placed upon a nationalised industry, that the damage was caused before the pits were nationalised and that, in justice, it should have been deducted from the compensation paid to the private coal owners?

Mr. George

That subject, too, was discussed during the passage of the Bill.

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