§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Earl of Munster.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly:
§ [The EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]
§ Clauses agreed to.
§ Schedule [Minerals to which this Act applies]:
had two Amendments on the Paper, proposing to add "building stone" and "chalk" to the Schedule. The noble Lord said: My first Amendment would acid "building stone" to the list of minerals named in the Schedule, which includes, of course, granite, limestone and the other building stones, but I understand it is not intended to include gravel. The reason for this Amendment is that we hope that there will be a great increase of building in the country, and that we shall use 707 our own materials as far as possible, instead of importing them from abroad. My noble friends and I think that anything that will make the use of building stone easier should be inserted in the Bill.
Page 2, line 7, at end insert ("building stone").—(Lord strabolgi.)
§ THE EARL OF MUNSTER
In dealing with the Amendments which the noble Lord has placed upon the Paper, I will, with his permission, take them together. I am sorry that I cannot see my way to accept the Amendments to insert "building stone" and "chalk" as he suggests, and I think I should again emphasise the point that facilities already exist for all minerals, including those to which he refers, under the principal Act, which is the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act of 1923. It is very doubtful if mineral workers themselves are properly aware of the powers which they have under that Act. Indeed the Mines Department Advisory Committee, to which I referred in my speech on the Second Reading, used these words in their recent Report:We have been surprised in the course of our inquiries to find to how small an extent mineowners both in the iron-ore and non-ferrous industries are aware of the remedies available to them under the Act of 1923, and there is no doubt that what is true of the metalliferous mineowners is equally true of the quarry owners.Further steps are to be taken to bring these remedies to the notice of the industry, and they are at the moment in contemplation by the Department.
The Act of 1923 contains very wide and valuable rights, including not only the right to work minerals but also surface occupation rights, rights of way, rights to dispose of water, and so on and so forth. The reason it is not necessary to include in this Bill the two minerals which the noble Lord proposes to include is, as I am advised, that they are already included in the 1923 Act. The House will remember that this Bill, which I introduced the other day, is to extend to certain minerals only the provisions of 708 Part II of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, whereas the Amendments to include building-stone and chalk, which the noble Lord proposes, I am advised are amply dealt with in the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act, 1923. In view of this I hope the noble Lord will see his way to withdraw his Amendment.
I am not averse from withdrawing the Amendment, but perhaps the noble Earl will give us one further point of explanation. In view of what he has said, why is it necessary to introduce this Bill at all? There may be a very good reason for it, but I think some word of explanation is required. In the 1923 Act, to which the noble Earl refers, are not these metals also included, or does it only apply to coal and building-stone? The reason that chalk has been put down is because of its great use for cement-making, which is on the increase. The Amendment was put down at the instance of a very experienced member in another place who is very closely concerned with mining operations, and who thought that these additions would be useful, but if the noble Earl can give us an explanation it would satisfy my noble friends.
§ THE EARL OF MUNSTER
The 1923 Act is one that includes all minerals of any sort or kind found under the surface. This Bill is to extend to certain other minerals which are set out in the Schedule the provisions of Part II of the Mining Industry Act, 1926. I think that meets the point the noble Lord has in mind.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Schedule agreed to.