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Opencast Mining, Midlothian

Volume 495: debated on Monday 11 February 1952

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the number of men and women employed on opencast sites in Midlothian; what rate of wages are paid; and what machinery exists for regulating wages and conditions.

The answer to the first part of the Question is 323 men. With regard to the second and third parts of the Question, these men are employed by civil engineering contractors and their wages and conditions are governed by arrangements in that industry.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how much coal was produced by opencast mining in Midlothian during 1951; what was the market price of this coal, per ton at railhead; and how this compares with the market price of deep-mined coal at local collieries in the same area.

329,129 tons. The average market price at washery was 48s.1½d per ton. Opencast coal is sold by the National Coal Board, as agents for my Ministry, and I understand the price is the same as for deep-mined coal of similar quality.