Does the Minister realise that a very serious situation has developed, particularly in the County of Durham, because of the closing down of coke oven plants, with the result that a very large number of coke oven men are now unemployed? Are we to understand that there is no prospect of a resumption of the coke oven plants in the near future?
The activity of the coke oven plants must depend on the trend of the demand for coke. I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that the number of men made unemployed by closures last year and in late 1957 was about 800 and that only 200 of them were not provided with alternative employment.
But is the right hon. Gentleman aware that where men have been re-employed it has usually been at coke oven plants remote from where they were living and that as they have been called upon to meet removal expenses and other liabilities incurred, a very difficult situation exists for them?