§ Mr. Mason
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions he has had with the National Coal Board regarding amendments to the Coal Industry Act in relation to the problem of future pit closures; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he intends, either by fresh legislation, amendment of the Coal Industry Act or by Ministerial directive, to request the National Coal Board to begin a new pit closure programme during 1972–73.
§ Mr. Emery
We shall present proposals as soon as possible for dealing with the financial problems of the coal industry. But I can assure the right hon. Member now that we have no intention of instructing the board on the question of pit closures which are an essential part of the board's management responsibility.