Coal Industry (Closed Workshops)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1972.

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Photo of Mr Edwin Wainwright Mr Edwin Wainwright , Dearne Valley 12:00 am, 7th February 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will issue a general direction to the National Coal Board to reopen closed workshops.

Photo of Mr Edwin Wainwright Mr Edwin Wainwright , Dearne Valley

Does the Under-Secretary realise that that is a most disappointing reply? Is he aware that in the Dearne Valley over the past few years several factories have closed? The Aldon Engineering Works, Priestley's clothing factory and the Manvers Main workshop are the latest. When will the Government stop closing factories in Dearne Valley? Is it not time the Government declared Dearne Valley a development district rather than an intermediate area?

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

The Question asks the Government to give a general direction to the National Coal Board to reopen closed workshops". That would not be appropriate. Indeed, it would be wrong for the Government to tell the Coal Board how to run its commercial activities.