11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 3

It was a tactical mistake for the coalowners to issue

huge advertisements in the daily Press proclaiming their grievances against the Coal Bill. Those outbursts read too much like an attempt to browbeat the House of Commons. Moreover, they are not in a strong position to give battle on behalf of private enterprise. Parliament has bestowed upon them price-fixing machinery, and it is impossible for those who enjoy this form of internal protection to deny the right of the community to exercise a measure of genuine control. When will our industrialists realise that they cannot beg for assistance from the State and almost in the same breath demand to be left alone ? The debates of the last few days have at any rate served one useful purpose. There has been ample discussion of the relations that should exist between the Government and an industry invested with statutory powers to control output, prices and supply. * * * *