§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that, since the increase of 2s. per ton in the price of house coal in South Wales, the Stock Exchange value of the shares of fourteen of the principal collieries in South Wales has increased on the Cardiff Stock Exchange by £988,200; whether, in the event of the mines being nationalised, this sum would require to be added to the purchase price; and whether, in view of such a contingency, he will cause an inquiry to be held through his Department into the causes which led to the increase in the selling price of coal, and how far such increase was justified?1324W
I am not aware how far the statement in the question as to a recent advance in value of shares in South Wales collieries is accurate, nor can I say how far any such advance would or would not enter into calculations of the purchase price of the collieries in the event of their nationalisation. In a time of good trade values tend to increase all round, and it does not seem necessary to hold an Inquiry to find causes which, generally speaking, are already well known.