§ Mr. Rowlands
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimates he has received from the National Coal Board in Wales of the effect upon (a) the number of jobs (b) the number of pits, and (c) coal production in Wales as a result of (i) the proposed rundown of steel plants in Wales and (ii) the import of coking coal into South Wales; and whether he accepts these estimates.
§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
My Department has received from the National Coal Board in Wales a number of estimates of possible closures in the South Wales coalfield. These have included references to possible closure of high cost pits as part of closures arising from the British Steel Corporation's proposed rundown of steel plants and changes of level of coking coal imports. These estimates vary greatly in detail and in their assumptions. No proposals for a programme of closures have been made by the National Coal Board and I am unable to discuss firm figures.