Collieries Closed, Lancashire.

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 10th December 1931.

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Photo of Mr Gordon Macdonald Mr Gordon Macdonald , Ince

105.

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that during the last four weeks two collieries in Lancashire, employing over 1,500 persons, have closed down; and will he state whether his Department was in any way consulted prior to the closing down of these collieries?

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

I am informed that one mine in Lancashire employing 1,240 persons has been closed down since the beginning of November. There is no obligation on a colliery owner to consult the Mines Department before closing his pit, nor is it usual for him to do so.

Photo of Mr Gordon Macdonald Mr Gordon Macdonald , Ince

Does the hon. Member not think that such consultation would be advisable, as things are in the mining industry in these days?

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

Consultation generally is only in regard to matters of safety. Of course, the discretion in this matter rests entirely with the owners concerned, but perhaps some amendment on the lines suggested by the hon. Member might be desirable.

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

In view of the Minister's experience since he came into office in connection with the working of the Coal Mines Act, does he not think that it ought to be repealed?