Mines (Licensing)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th April 1972.

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Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South 12:00 am, 24th April 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether his conversations with the owners of licensed small mines are completed; and what steps he now proposes to take in connection with such small mines in regard to their licensing facilities.

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

No, Sir. I am awaiting information from the Federation of Small Mines of Great Britain to enable me to consider its claim for assistance. It agreed last week to meet my Department this coming Wednesday to see what can be achieved.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South

I compliment my hon. Friend upon the acceleration of the arrangements on behalf of the small licensed private enterprise pits. I remind him that they make a useful contribution to meeting the overall coal shortage today. Is he aware that we are still importing coal, which is quite disgraceful and a drain on our national re- sources? Would not it be sensible for a Conservative Government to encourage private enterprise and the expansion of the small mines licensing arrangements?

Photo of Sir Peter Emery Sir Peter Emery , Honiton

It is to look at the whole problem of the small mines, through their federation, since the settlement of the miners' wage claim, that the meeting has been arranged, and it is with that intention that I have purposely asked that it should be brought forward.