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Coal Mines (Nationalisation).

Part of Orders of the Day — King's Speech. – in the House of Commons on 11th February 1920.

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Photo of Mr William Brace Mr William Brace , Abertillery

I am not speaking for the shareholders. I am putting the case for the Labour party, and, if my hon. Friend wants to speak for the shareholders, I have no doubt that he will have an opportunity of putting their case. I am putting the case for nationalisation as I understand it, and I hope that I am doing it without offence. If I thought that this scheme of nationalisation were intended to give, or indeed would give, the mining population an advantage at the expense of the State, I would oppose it I know that as a Commonwealth we must advance together, if we are to advance at all. We cannot make progress by advantaging one section of the community at the expense of the others. It is because the Labour party in this House and those they represent outside believe that this scheme contains the promise of opening the pathway to a new and higher economic life of the nation that they ask the Government to honour their bond and their pledge and to give effect by legislation to the Report of the Coal Industry Commission. We believe that we are entitled to ask that, particularly in face of the fact that coal is the key which is going to unlock the whole of the markets of the world to our advantage in the future, and that it will balance the exchanges which are at present against us. Under nationalisation the nation will have all the coal that it requires, and by disposing of the surplus we can re-establish, industrially and commercially, this great nation on the high pinnacle which has been our experience in the past.