The Colliery Combine – An Unopposed Scheme.

March 1927

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 4th 1927

The Denaby Colliery Merger.
An Unopposed Scheme.

The railway and canal commission, on Tuesday, had before them an application to confirm a scheme of amalgamation, under the Mining Industry Act, respecting the Denaby and Cadeby Main Collieries Company (Ltd), Dinnington Main Colliery Company (Ltd), and Maltby Main Colliery Company (Ltd).

Mr. Maugham, K. C., in support of the application, which was unopposed, said there scheme had been passed by overwhelming majorities at meetings of shareholders of the different companies, who owned a total area of coal fields of 33,259 acres.

The scheme provided for partial amalgamation of the companies by share control, and for the formation of a separate company to acquire a controlling’s shares of the constituent companies; and it was expected, under the scheme, at the present output of 3,400,000 tons a year would be increased to 5 million tonnes a year. The policy of united control would enable the financial resources of the whole group to be utilised for the benefit of any individual company, and would regulate the output according to their joint requirements of the consumers. The Maltby and Rossington Collieries were in a parlous date, and the scheme was the only way of providing them with the means of carrying on.

Lord Aberconway, chairman of the Rossington, Dinnington and Maltby collieries, giving evidence in support of the application, said that the Maltby colliery had never recovered from the explosion of 1923. The hearing was adjourned.

Rings” and Prices.

The hearing was concluded on Wednesday. Major John Leslie, chairman of the Denaby and Cadeby companies, said that one of the principal results anticipated from the amalgamation was that it would stabilise the prices of the coal the collieries produced.

Mr Justice Sankey said he agreed that it would probably cheaper in production, was there any probability, he asked, of that reduction being represented in the selling price?

Witness said he thought it might be so.

Mr Morgan argued that if Collieries could produce more cheaply there was a reasonable prospect that in the future prices would be reduced.

“More Work, Higher Wages.”

Mr Justice Sankey: Not necessarily, if we get rings which is what amalgamation may come to.

Mr Morgan said a reduction of price depended upon all sorts of consideration of supply and demand. He agreed that rates may keep up prices and avoid competition. All that could be expected of the applicants at this stage was to show, as a result of the scheme, they were going to have cheaper costs of production.

Major Leslie said one of the advantages of the scheme of grouping the companies was that there could be a pooling of wagons, and railway shunting shifts would be saved. It was hoped that the amalgamation would be the salvation of the Rossington and Maltby companies. Other advantages of the scheme were that there would be joint selling arrangements, and more employment for the miners with higher wages having regard to the valuable nature of the seam.

The amalgamation was not big enough, he thought, to effect the market price of coal. If the scheme had been in force five years ago, the Maltby company would not have been in so bad a position as result of the explosion as it was today, because the other companies would have come to its assistance.

Mr William Humble, mining engineer, colliery director, and chairman of the Doncaster Collieries Association, said under the scheme the total output of the group would be increased in a few years.

Mr William Alexander Jackson, managing director of the Rossington, Dinnington and Maltby Collieries, also gave evidence.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Sankey intimated that the commissioners approved the scheme.