Coal Production.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 19th May 1942.

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Photo of Sir James Henderson-Stewart Sir James Henderson-Stewart , Fife Eastern

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, since he has accepted the principle of expert inquiry prior to decision on policy in the case of fuel rationing, he will now, in order to inform Parliament and the country of the facts, appoint a small expert committee to make a rapid survey of the causes of under-production of coal and publish their findings and recommendations before Parliament is asked to approve the Government's new proposals on coal production and organisation?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

The Government have been in consultation with both sides in the coal industry, and with leading mining engineers and other experts, and in view of the urgency of the problem, the setting up of such a committee as my hon. Friend suggests could not be justified.

Mr. Stewart:

In view of the conflicting claims and charges made by both sides of the industry and the confusion about this subject in the public mind, is it not right that the House should be informed of the facts before being invited to lake an important decision?

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Will not the Minister agree that, instead of such a committee, the proposal of the Miners' Federation to appoint a national board would get better results in production?