New Right of Board to Withdraw Support to Enable Coal to Be Worked.

Part of Coal Industry Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th July 1975.

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Photo of Mr John Farr Mr John Farr , Harborough 12:00 am, 15th July 1975

I support the remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for New Forest (Mr. McNair-Wilson) and by the hon. Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Edelman).

I shall refer to the agricultural arguments advanced by the Minister. He said that if this Lords Amendment were accepted, additional compensation costs would be incurred by the NCB. I object to that. If the NCB does not meet the costs, the farmers must do so. The considerable costs involved were not covered by the clause as it went to the House of Lords. It ill behoves the Minister to say to farmers, "Never mind the extra costs which farming must meet, but the Government will not allow the NCB to compensate you" when the Government recently produced a very good White Paper calling for additional food expansion from British farms.

The Coal Mining (Subsidence) Act 1957 is 18 years old and is now hopelessly out of date. It was geared to the immediate post-war period. It provides for compensation for immediate damage. However, it does not give the farmer or agriculturist a legal right to compensation for loss.