§ Mr. Barry Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many persons are employed in(a) the steel industry and (b) the coal industry in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
About 15,700 people are currently employed in steel manufacturing operations in Wales.
At 31 December 1995, approximately 2,500 people were employed in the coal industry in Wales.
I recognise the importance of both industries to the Welsh economy. In British Steel, we have one of the most efficient steel producers in the world and, in the short time since privatisation, the new coal companies have made great strides in developing their businesses.