asked the Minister of Power what proposals he has, following Command Paper No. 2805, to allocate special funds to provide alternative industrial development in West Durham, which has become an urgent priority due to the pending redundancy at Brancepeth, waterhouses and Esh Winning collieries.
Mr. John Morris
My right hon. Friend will be speaking about the special funds generally during the debate on the Second Reading of the Coal Industry Bill on Thursday.
Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind before Thursday that this is a very urgent matter indeed and that, as well as funds being made available, he might endeavour to prevent any pit closures before alternative industry is provided?
I understand the concern that is felt about special funds. There have been discussions with the National Union of Mineworkers on this matter and perhaps the whole subject will be canvassed on Thursday.