HC Deb 06 July 1965 vol 715 cc1339-40
25. Mr. McNair-Wilson

asked the Minister of Power if he will give the shortfall in the number employed in the coal mining industry.

Mr. John Morris

This is a matter for the National Coal Board. My right hon. Friend understands from the Board that its operating plans are made in the light of the men available, that the labour force is at present about 5,000 below the Board's manpower budget for 1965–66, but that production has been maintained at a level sufficient to meet overall demand.

Mr. McNair-Wilson

While realising the social problems involved, may I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to tell us whether, in view of the new plans for the coal industry, there is any plan in the Government's mind for redistributing employees from uneconomic to economic areas of the industry?

Mr. Morris

That is a matter for the National Coal Board.