North Staffordshire Colliery Owners' Association.

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Production. – in the House of Commons at on 9 December 1919.

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Photo of Mr Samuel Finney Mr Samuel Finney , Stoke-on-Trent Burslem

89.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to a resolution and statement issued in effect as follows: That the North Staffordshire Colliery Owners' Association, comprising practically the whole of the collieries in North Staffordshire, view with alarm the announcement by the Board of Trade of a reduction of 10s. per ton in the price of household coal and for coal used in producing gas and electric energy for light and power supplied for domestic and household use, that this will inevitably result in serious loss to the house and gas coal collieries in this district unless immediate arrange- ments are made for the provision of the necessary weekly funds to provide current wages and to meet the losses incurred; is he aware that at least 40 per cent. of the entire coal output of the district is involved; having regard to the unprofitable results during the period of control, it is impossible for the colliery owners to finance this reduction in price, whether he can state the steps he intends to take in dealing with these matters; and whether he can at the same time state the price at which the companies concerned having forges, furnaces, coke ovens, and byproduct plants, brickyards, etc., can buy coals for the use of these works from their own collieries, and also state the amount of profits realised in each case by these undertakings?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

My attention has been drawn to a resolution of this nature. My right hon. Friend has already informed the House that arrangements have been made by the Controller of Coal Mines in consultation with representatives of the Mining Association to finance collieries which are in financial difficulties and cannot otherwise carry on their mines. The prices at which companies owning collieries, forges; furnaces, coke ovens, by-product plants, brickyards, etc., can transfer coal from their collieries to the other Department are fixed by the Controller of Coal Mines on a commercial basis. I regret that I cannot state the profits realised by individual undertakings, as such information is expressly made confidential by Section 4 of the Coal Mines Control Agreement (Confirmation) Act and Clause 20 of the Agreement scheduled to that Act.