Coal Industry (State Aids)

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 10:44 pm on 5th February 1986.

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Photo of Mr Spencer Batiste Mr Spencer Batiste , Elmet 10:44 pm, 5th February 1986

If the hon. Gentlman had attended the exhibition and looked at the records, he would have seen a full list showing where jobs have been created. I am sure that the House would like to know that there were scarcely any Labour Members present at that exhibition while virtually all Conservative Members with mining constituencies were present. Perhaps the affairs of the mining industry would improve a great deal if the Opposition talked a little less about unemployment and more about job creation and took practical measures that are needed to help their regional problems.

A number of my colleagues and I are taking active steps in our constituencies to ensure that local industry and commerce are made fully aware of what NCB (Enterprise) Ltd. can offer. This weekend, I shall hold a seminar in my constituency on that subject. I seek the clearest of assurances from my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State that the new regime in Europe will in no way interfere with the undertaking he gave last year in Committee on the Coal Industry Bill. I asked him whether NCB (Enterprise) Ltd. would have all the money that it could usefully use to create jobs in mining areas. My hon. Friend readily gave that assurance. I hope that, before we vote, he will repeat it and assure us that the proposed regime will in no way change that.