18 DECEMBER 1936, Page 3

The Church and the Special Areas In the debate on

the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill in the House of Lords on Tuesday, the Archbishop of Canterbury and. the Bishop of Winchester joined in the attack on the Government's failure to relieve the Special Areas—an entirely right and proper manifestation of the Church's concern for the unemployed. At the moment there is a danger that the Government's promise to introduce new legislation next year may become an excuse for continued inaction now ; the Special Areas Act is unsatisfactory and inadequate, but it offers opportunities for action of which the Government should make the fullest possible use. At the same time, it must give careful consideration to the proposals to be embodied in the new Bill ; this week Sir Robert Home's South Wales Trade Recovery and Expansion Committee has issued a Memorandum summarising its proposals for reviving the coal industry. The committee recommends. that a Government subsidy should be used to fight subsidised foreign competition, and that this weapon should be used to secure the formation of a European Coal Cartel which will give South Wales a fair share of export markets. The com- mittee is right in thinking that a revival of coal-exports must be the basis for any recovery in South Wales ; but subsidies and cartels are instruments which demand the strictest supervision if they are really to assist industry and not merely increase profits. .