South Wales (Scottish Competition).

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 14th July 1931.

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Photo of Mr Edward Williams Mr Edward Williams , Ogmore

6.

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that Scottish coal is being imported into the Bristol Channel ports and the South Wales collieries producing the same class of coal are closing down, throwing hundreds of men out of employment; and whether he will inquire into the matter?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Linlithgowshire

I am aware that Scottish coal is being imported into Bristol Channel ports, but the figures do not indicate any marked variation this year as compared with previous years. In 1929,. 52,115 tons were so imported, and in 1930, 40,880 tons. For the first five months of 1931, the quantity was 18,715 tons. The situation arising from the shipment of Scottish coal to South Wales is a matter within the competence of the Executive Board administering the South Wales District Coal Mines Scheme.

Photo of Mr Edward Williams Mr Edward Williams , Ogmore

Has the hon. Gentleman had any communication from the South Wales coalowners asking him to take action?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Linlithgowshire

No such communication has been received, but I understand that the South Wales Executive Board propose to take action.

Photo of Mr Joseph Batey Mr Joseph Batey , Spennymoor

Can the hon. Gentleman say the reason why the Scottish collieries obtain these contracts? Is it because Scottish minimum prices are less than the South Wales prices?

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE:

Is not the Minister aware that Scottish exporters of coal to other districts have to pay higher dues and charges, as they export the coal from their own ports of Ayr and Troon.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Linlithgowshire

That may be, but it does not affect the question.

Photo of Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle , Newcastle upon Tyne North

Is the reason for the position of the Scottish industry compared with the Welsh industry the adoption of the spread-over plan?