asked the Minister of Supply whether he has yet received the report of the Controller of Non-Ferrous Mineral Development on the position of the Cornish tin-mining industry; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take immediately to utilise the resources available, both in open and closed mines?
It is not intended to await a general formal report on the entire position of the Cornish tin-mining industry. Proposals for specific developments will be considered as they arise. The Ministry of Supply are already in negotiation with the owners of the three principal mines at present in production with the object of obtaining an increased output; and exploratory and other preliminary work is being undertaken under the direction of the Control at properties not at present producing.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his reply does not tally with the reply given about a month ago, from which it was understood that the tin-mining industry in Cornwall would be helped in order that the mines could be got going, and that the only thing standing in the way was that a report was awaited?
A report has not yet been obtained, but we have unofficial information. We are in negotiation with the three mines already in production and helping them in every way we can with labour and so on. Labour is very short, and until we can get these three mines producing at full capacity, while we are still investigating the position of the others, we think it better to concentrate on the three and leave the others alone for the present.