Meanwhile, another aspect of the situation is the fact that
Mr. Shinwell, the Secretary for Mines, is said to be preparing a Bill for the nationalization of mining royalties. This measure, of course, would have nothing to do with the question. of nationalizing the mines them- selves. It would only provide for the buying-out by the State of the mining landlords. At present more than four thousand people own the ground through which coal seams run. Great waste occurs through disputes as to subterranean boundaries, and large " bulkheads " of coal are left between two estates. A single landlord, such as the State would be, would help the industry. The cost of buying out the owners is estimated at anything from £55,000,000 to £68,000,000, but there is no reason to suppose that this would prove a bad investment for the State. Mr. Shinwell has remarked that it is " extra- ordinarily unlikely that he will be able to carry any such Bill through Parliament," but we agree with the Manchester Guardian that in this he appears to be somewhat faint- hearted. He must live up to his Clydeside reputation as a bold bad Bolshevik better than this !