No, Sir, but the National Coal Board consults the unions about individual closures in accordance with the intentions of the Nationalisation Act and has been largely successful in finding men other jobs within the industry.
Is my hon. Friend aware that no one would deny that the National Coal Board has had considerable success in redeploying manpower declared redundant as a result of closures of collieries? Nevertheless, does not he recognise that, in the case of large collieries, a great deal of hardship is caused, not only by short-term or long-term redundancy, but by a considerable reduction in wages, even when the men are redeployed within the industry? Will he give an undertaking that he will take an active interest in collieries employing more than 400 men in order to see that this kind of hardship is reduced to the absolute minimum?
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the first part of his supplementary question. He will know that my right hon. Friend has no power to intervene in individual closures. As for the redeployment of men, I know that the Departments which are concerned with employment and planning keep these matters to the fore at all times.