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Clifton And Point Of Ayr Collieries

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 2 November 1943

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10 and 11.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power (1) in relation to the Clifton Colliery, Nottingham, the shares of which are now held by the Treasury, the total monthly output and the output per man-shift, respectively, for each of the 12 months prior to Government acquisition and corresponding figures for each month since that date;

(2), the output and the output per man-shift, respectively, for each of the six months prior to Government control of the Point of Ayr Colliery and the figures for the months of the period since that control?

It is not in the public interest to give figures relating to individual collieries.

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether there has in fact been a decrease in production since the Government controlled these two undertakings?

No, that is not in fact so, but I do not think it is very wise to give information of that character, because, as I have tried to point out, what has happened is not because the Government have taken the collieries over. In one case there has been an improvement; in the other case, owing to the condition in which the colliery was, a tremendous amount of development work had to be done.

What is the public interest which prevents the giving of this information? Are the Government afraid that if they gave it the Germans would drop a bomb down one of those collieries?

I do not want to discuss that, but I dare say my hon. Friend would think that. If he worked it out for himself, he would see there was nothing in it.