North Staffordshire has some of the richest deposits of coking coal in the world and vast schemes of expansion for this coalfield are now underway. Mr. H.J.Crofts, West Midlands Divisional Production Director,gave some details of these developments in a recent paper to the North Staffordshire Institute of Mining Engineers. There are reserves estimated at some 1,700 million tons of coking coal, but to reach it,it will be necessary to dig deeper than ever before-deeper, in fact, than in any other British coalfield. This will present formidable difficulties, but modern mining research points ways towards solving them.
It was the human,rather than the technical questions involved, which were raised in the House of Commons last night by Mr Ellis Smith,MP. Few areas of its size in the country can claim to make such an important contribution to the national ecomony as North Staffordshire. Pottery and coal,between them,are vital both for an export revival and for sustenance of domestic industry and commerce.
The great development of the coalfield,however,has brought new manpower problems. Labour for the mines has to be "imported" from other areas and it is important that these men should be decently and comfortably housed.
When the National Coal Board offered to build non-traditional houses for this purpose. The Stoke-on-Trent City Council turned them down but offered to make available for miners 50 per cent. Of the new traditional houses being built-one half of these to be allocated to local miners already on the Corporation housing list.
This was a fair compromise,but it does not end the housing problem, and in order that the expansion of coal production should not be impeded in any way , we hope that Mr Smiths plea for the authoriities to "get together" will evoke a response in all responsible quarters. For coal is still No1 Priority.
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