§ 23. Mr. Speir
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, as Haltwhistle has been declared a designated area under the Local Employment Act, 1960, and Nenthead, which has a very high proportion of its male population unemployed, comes within the boundaries of the Haltwhistle exchange employment area, he will consult the Chairman of the National Coal Board about the effect of his refusal to issue a licence to permit the opening at Nenthead of a small semi-anthracite mine to provide employment for between 10 and 20 men.
§ Mr. Maudling
While I should like to see employment provided in this area, the licensing of this mine is a matter for the National Coal Board.
§ Mr. Speir
While appreciating that Answer, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he is not responsible for the implementation of the Local Employment Act? Does he realise the absurdity of a situation in which there is a shortage of anthracite and semi-anthracite and when some representatives of the National Coal Board are talking about a shortage of miners, while in other areas, such as this, which have a high level of unemployment, the Board prevents the opening up of a very small mine? Is he aware that this is not the only one, and that there are other cases?
§ Mr. Maudling
I am sure that the Chairman of the National Coal Board will have these factors very much in mind and that my hon. Friend's Question will serve to make them more publicly known.