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Technical Advisory Committee (Report)

Volume 409: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1945

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5.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power, what action it is proposed to take with reference to the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee on Coal Mining, Cmd, 6610; and whether, in view of widespread agreement that public control through an appropriately designed public utility company, or companies, is essential, he will introduce the necessary legislation forthwith.

9.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he is in a position to make a statement on the Report of the Technical Advisory Committee; and what action he proposes to take in order to implement its recommendations.

My hon. Friends will appreciate that a report of this character must receive the most careful consideration before a statement can be made. There will be presented shortly a White Paper on the financial position of the coal mining industry dealing with the coal charges account, which will, I anticipate, further assist in presenting a picture of the industry at the present time.

In coming to a conclusion on the matter, will my right hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind that there is a large measure of support in all parties for a settlement on the lines indicated in my Question?

Is the Minister aware that no estimate of the cost involved was given in this report; and has he made up his mind as to the probable cost involved in the recommendations of the committee?

How many more reports must we have before some action is taken to put the industry on a proper basis?

The hon. Member will appreciate that there has never been a report of this sort made before. It is a very important report, because it is fundamental to, whatever approach is made to the settlement of this problem, and I am certain that nothing but good could come from the examination of this and other reports which I hope will be published. With regard to the cost which would be involved by the proposals in the report, that is, the other investigations and amalgamations necessary, it will be some time before we know what the costs will be.