asked the Minister of Labour the amount of coal that has been purchased by the Sites Company under the Pallions and St. Helens trading sites, respectively, and the price paid per ton; and whether the coal can be worked by the coal owners and the Sites Company left without any right of support?
The mineral rights under the site at Pallion are reserved to the owners, but the Commissioner for the Special Areas is advised that, even though working the coal should be resumed, it would not involve any serious risk to buildings. The Commissioner owns the coal under the site at St. Helen Auckland, and arrangements have been made with the lessees to secure support for the surface. It would be contrary to general practice to disclose the financial details of such arrangements.
With regard to the first part of the right hon. Gentleman's answer may I ask whether he is satisfied that the coal measures in this case are of such a nature that, if they were worked, it would have little or no effect as regards subsidence?
I understand that the Commissioner has satisfied himself on that point.