19 OCTOBER 1929, Page 2

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The Coal Crisis On Wednesday the Coal Committee of the Cabinet saw representative coalowners and the Executive of the Miners' Federation. The Government are evidently playing for time, for they are heavily burdened with the pledges which they gave at the General Election, and they are living in the hope of being Able to shed some of the burden with the consent of..the miners. The Secretary of the Federation, Mr. A. J. Cook, is .very impatient, but oddly enough his impatience is slightly less than that of .the usually . more Phlegmatic Mr. Herbert Smith. Mr. Cook has learnt part of his lesson and he knows that the miners would gain nothing by another industrial war. He threatens, of course, but he Will probably be slow to proceed to dangerous action. The miners ask that the Government should_ cut down_ the. hours of work, as they promised, to seven, should provide pensions for those who are put on the unemployed list by the 'schemes of 'reorganization' , should pension All the old miners and, finally, should compel the owners to join in a national agreement or, alternatively, should pass a Minimum Wage Act.