HC Deb 23 November 1967 vol 754 c1491
Q9. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Prime Minister what is the machinery for liaison between the Minister who has been appointed to deal with Northern Region affairs and the chairmen of the nationalised fuel and power industries.

The Prime Minister

Liaison is maintained through my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power.

Mr. Shinwell

But is it not extremely important that the Minister who has been appointed to look after Northern Region affairs should be informed from time to time about changes contemplated by the National Coal Board about pit closures? Is it necessary that he should not know until the Minister of Power has been informed—and there may be delays even in that connection?

The Prime Minister

It is important, as my right hon. Friend says, that he should be informed. He is one of the D.E.A. Ministers and there are regular talks between the D.E.A. Ministers and the Minister of Power and between the D.E.A. and the National Coal Board. As my right hon. Friend will be aware, we announced recently that the forthcoming colliery closures, not only this winter but throughout the next three years, will be discussed with the chairmen of the regional planning councils.

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