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?
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.