21 MARCH 1931, Page 2

The Coal Industry The regulation of output under the Coal

Mines Act has caused much heartburning in the Midlands during the past week. In Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire it is said that pits are idle or working short time because the owners have already raised their allotted quota of coal and must raise no more this month. It has been alleged that house and factory supplies are scarce, and that the quota system is to blame. However, the National Board, whose function it is to regulate output between the several districts and to prevent a shortage of coal, has not taken the complaints seriously.- Some local friction was inevitable, and it is suggested that the Midland collieries, dissatisfied with their quota, had raised more coal than they were entitled to do in the first two months of the year. The competition between districts has, of course, accounted for many of the difficulties of the coal industry, and the Act was designed to restrict that competition by giving the force of law to the voluntary working agreements, covering the whole country, which had been drafted before the Act was passed.

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