§ Mr. John Cummings (Easington)
On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Some 14 hours after last night's vote on the coal industry, 900 miners at Vane Tempest colliery were informed that the colliery would cease production on Friday. Those 900 men were sacked last week, were reinstated this week and are to be mothballed next week. Like the President of the Board of Trade, those 900 men do not know whether they are coming or going.
Should we not invite the President of the Board of Trade back to the Chamber now to explain in unequivocal terms precisely what his intentions are for Vane Tempest colliery, which is inextricably linked with Easington colliery because of shared pumping costs? It is important that the matter should be clarified as quickly as possible.
§ Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. The President of the Board of Trade gave assurances yesterday—repeated by the Secretary of State for Wales late last night—that the 10 pits would be treated to the same degree of consultation as the other 21. It seems incredible that consultation on the fate of the 900 men at Vane Tempest could have taken place within 14 hours.
In view of the confidence trick played on those hon. Members who were intending to vote with the Opposition, the President of the Board of Trade should be brought here to give a statement to make it clear that British Coal should not be allowed to get away with sacking 900 men at Vane Tempest.
§ Madam Speaker
As both hon. Members are aware, those are not points of order with which the Chair can deal. I have received no information from the Government that they wish to make a further statement on the issue.