§ Mr. T. JOHNSTON
asked the Secretary for Mines if he will state for the years 1913 and 1923, respectively, the pit-head cost or price of coal in Great Britain, the United States, France, Germany, and Belgium?
§ Mr. E. SHINWELL
Complete information with regard to the pit-head cost and price of coal in 1913 and 1923 in the foreign countries specified, is not available. Such comparable information as is available is summarised below:
ing Court; and whether, in view of this difference of responsible legal opinion, of the demoralising effect of such sales in non-licence areas, and of the expense which would be incurred by any one local authority in prosecuting a test case, the Lord Advocate is prepared to now reconsider his former decision, and to authorise the institution of a test prosecution on the matter by a procurator fiscal 1615W in a Sheriff Court, subject to any guarantee which might be considered necessary for any expenses for which he might be found liable in the High Court of Appeal?
I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave him regarding this matter on the 11th April. The decision of the Lord Advocate therein referred to was arrived at after full consideration of all the circumstances, and he sees no reason to reconsider it. I may again remind the hon. Member that it is open to the local authority, if they so choose, to take legal proceedings to test the question.