§ Mr. BATEY
asked the Secretary for Mines if he is aware that during the last few months thousands of miners have been thrown out of work by coalowners stopping several collieries in the County of Durham; and whether he will appoint a committee to inquire as to the reason of such stoppages, so that it may be ascertained whether the coal companies belonging to these collieries were not in a financial position to keep them working, or whether their object was to stop the least remunerative collieries so that they would make more profit by only working their other Collieries?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I am aware that a considerable number of collieries have been closed during the last few months both in Durham and in other coalfields. I have, however, no power to compel any colliery to continue at work against the judgment of its owners, or to provide them with funds for the purpose, and I fear, therefore, that the inquiry which my hon. Friend suggests could not enable me to take any effective action.