2 MARCH 1929, Page 15


.[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR, —Your correspondent, " F. asks the above question, but be does not state which specific recommendations of the Report, other than those, such as marketing schemes, that have been adopted in whole or in part, would assist the colliery owners either (a) to sell more coal, (b) to sell that coal at a profit, (c) to employ more mine workers. The Report is not, after all," a magician's wand that performs miracles by being merely waved about.

" F. H." states that " it was reported at the time, and not denied, that the colliery owners had invited the Government ' to stand aside and let them give the miners a damned good hiding.' " It is a little difficult to keep track of all mischievous misstatements made about the coal industry, but I must confess that this one is new to me, or it would certainly not have passed without a denial. It is enriphatically untrue. What the c011iery owners did do was to agree, as the Govern- ment had agreed, to accept the Commission's Report for the sake of maintaining peace, although, like the Government, they disagreed with many of its conclusions. If " F. H." has any doubts on this subject he will find the official statement issued by the Mining Association (through my office) in the Times. of April 3rd, 1926. The miners, however, refused any-thing which meant " a second on. the day or a penny off the pay " ; and the report

did, of course, say that only by reducing wages could the impending disaster be avoided. think that if he will look up his reference for the stateme nt that he attributes to Mr. Smith, he will find it was both qualified and later in date

than he suggests.—I am; Sir, &c.; . Prime GEE. 5 New Court, Lincoln's Inn, W.C.2.