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Miners, West Lothian (Retraining)

Volume 774: debated on Monday 25 November 1968

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity how many applications she has received for retraining from miners who are being declared redundant from Riddochhill Colliery, Blackburn, West Lothian.

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the National Coal Board lets his Department know of these redundancies in advance and at the earliest possible opportunity?

There are problems for the National Coal Board in these cases, some of which are exemplified in this colliery. Some of them concern the fact that so many of the men who are made redundant are, in fact, retired early on substantial pensions or are offered employment at other collieries. But we need to

Would the hon. Gentleman explain what he means by expansion in terms of employment, since when replying earlier he said that the number of jobs in Scotland were now 35,000 less than the number four years ago? What sort of expansion is this?

The right hon. Gentleman should understand that many jobs have been lost in coal mining and various other industries. If many of them had not been replaced by jobs in other industries, the position would have been immeasurably worse. If he does not understand that, he does not understand anything about the subject.

Following is the information:

liaise very early with the National Coal Board and we are pursuing the operation of that policy.