– in the House of Commons on 26th March 1929.
asked the Secretary for Mines the names of those coal-mining districts in which the demand is actually in excess of the supply; and whether these arrears are now being overtaken?
The demand for particular qualities of coal has exceeded the supply in most districts, owing partly to the severe weather recently experienced. Some difficulty in overtaking arrears is likely to persist until after the Easter Holidays, but, with the cessation of the present winter demand for domestic coal, and an output of coal greater than in any corresponding period since March, 1924, it may be anticipated that arrears will gradually be overtaken.
Are we to understand, from the hon. and gallant Gentle-man's reply, that the number of miners presently unemployed is likely to be reduced in the coming months?
No, Sir; the hon. Member is not to take that to be the case from my answer.
Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say how far the arrears are due to the fact that there has been a restriction of output under the five counties scheme?
If the demand is in excess of the supply, does the Minister propose to ask the coalowners to work pits that are now closed?