HC Deb 08 December 1964 vol 703 cc1301-2
22. Mr. Weatherill

asked the Minister of Power how many horses were employed below ground in the mines throughout the country last year.

Mr. John Morris

The National Coal Board employed 4,737 on 30th June, 1964.

Mr. Weatherill

Can my hon. Friend hold out any hope of these animals being replaced by machines?

Mr. Morris

Horses are still kept in some of the older coalfields, where the method of work is such that mechanical help is impracticable. The National Coal Board expects that by the early 1970s horses will be no longer needed in the mines.

Mr. Ogden

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the fact that although we are all animal lovers, some hon. Members on this side of the House—and certainly those with recent experience in the mines—believe that more attention should be paid to the welfare of the men who work in the pits than to financial and production considerations? Will he give this point some attention?

Mr. Speaker

Mrs. Renée Short.

Mrs. Renée Short

Question No. 23.

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. There has been some confusion. The hon. Lady's Question No. 23 has already been answered; we had a little word about it. I called her to ask Question No. 24.

Mrs. Renée Short

I thought, Mr. Speaker, that we were answering Question No. 24 and calling it Question No. 23.