§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his policy on limiting the number of hours worked underground by miners; what is the effect of the proposed European working time directive on his policy; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eggar
[holding answer 26 October 1992]: The Government took powers in the Coal Industry Act 1992 to repeal in due course the Coal Mines Regulation Act 1908, which restricts the hours miners can work underground. The Government have made it clear, however, that the Act will not be repealed until it is replaced either by the adoption of the proposed European Community directive on working time or the introduction of an alternative United Kingdom measure.