§ 91. Sir J. Mellor
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how much commission or compensation is being paid by the Coal Board to firms who have been deprived of coal selling agencies; how long such payments are due to continue; whether the Coal Board is prepared to offer capital payments in discharge of such liabilities; and whether he will give an assurance that the proposed reduction of output from certain collieries is not designed to influence settlement.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
The selling agencies are contracts between the former colliery owners and third parties which in general will have effect "in favour of and against the National Coal Board" as representing the former owners, under the terms of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act. The administration of these contracts, including any question of termination, is entirely a matter for the Board, and I have no details of negotiations which may be proceeding. I have seen no evidence whatever to suggest that output at individual collieries is in any way affected by the existence of agency contracts.