§ 16. Mr. Mullin
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many of the pits originally scheduled for closure have been closed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eggar
British Coal has decided it no longer wishes to operate 18 of these pits, and coaling has ceased at them. British Coal has given a commitment to offer all such pits to the private sector and has so far invited bids for nine of them. I understand that British Coal will be offering the remainder in the next few weeks.