§ Mr. HARTSHORN
asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been drawn to the negotiations recently carried on for the amalgamation of a large group of collieries in the Forest of Dean; what is the attitude of his Department towards such negotiations; and whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the possible effects of such amalgamation upon the wages of the miners and the cost of coal to the consumers, as the result of increased co-ordination in respect of electrification, pumping equipment, transport, sales, and utilisation of coal barriers?
§ Colonel LANE FOX
I have no information beyond that which has appeared in the Press. If any scheme of amalgamation is submitted to me under Part I of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, it is my duty, on being satisfied that,prima facie, it is a scheme to which the Act applies, to refer it to the Railway and Canal Commission for their consideration and decision. It is still possible, however, for a scheme of amalgamation to be carried through without resort to that Act, and in that case it does not come before my Department for any inquiry.