§ Mr. Carol Johnson
asked the Minister of Power how many ponies were used in mines during the year 1965; and if he will issue a general direction, in the public interest, to the National Coal Board to take steps to obviate their use.
§ Mr. Frederick Lee
As I told the hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Sir W. Bromley-Davenport) on 7th March, the number employed underground in National Coal Board mines was 4,067 at 30th June, 1965. This number has decreased from over 20,000 in 1947, and the National Coal Board expects that by the early 1970s horses will no longer be needed in the mines. It would not be in the public interest to stop the use of horses in mines immediately.