§ 29. Dr. A. Thompson
asked the President of the Board of Trade what consultations have taken place between his Department and the National Coal Board on the proposed closure of the Cowdenbeath Central Workshops.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
My right hon. Friend is informed that the National Coal Board has no immediate plans for the closure of its central workshops at Cowdenbeath. The Cowdenbeath Town Council has suggested that the workshops 271 might be put to some alternative use, and the Board of Trade is pursuing that suggestion in co-operation with the National Coal Board.
§ Dr. Thompson
Since these workshops constitute not an uneconomic colliery but a highly efficient productive unit and make up the last remaining industry of any importance in Cowdenbeath employing nearly 400 people, will the hon. Gentleman watch this matter very closely?
§ Mr. W. Hamilton
Can the hon. Gentleman confirm or deny the long-term intention of the National Coal Board to close these workshops? Is not this the inevitable trend which everyone in the area reoognises? Since Cowdenbeath is in the centre of a development district under the Local Employment Act, will the hon. Gentleman have further consultations with the National Coal Board to see whether these workshops can be used as central workshops for the whole mining community in Scotland?
§ Mr. Macpherson
I note the hon. Gentleman's suggestion, which is not along the lines of what we were discussing with the National Coal Board.