§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take steps to require British Coal to offer outside interests the opportunity to take over the running of pits which British Coal has decided to cease operating.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
It is for British Coal to determine in each case whether to license the recovery of remnant coal at collieries which it has decided to cease operating. The increase in the statutory limit on underground manpower at licensed mines proposed in the current Coal Industry Bill give British Coal the opportunity to license such operations on a larger scale than at present.