This book is intended to be a popular account of the coal mining industry and of the coal trade of the British Isles, in which special attention is paid to the economic and social aspects. Whilst on the technique of mining or selling coal, and on the geology of the Coal Measures I have written for the lay reader, there is a good deal of informatibn in some of the chapters which will be new, I believe, to students of economic and social science—at any rate it has not previously been collected in one book. Many of the facts which I have obtained orally from persons engaged in coal mining, or by my own observation, are not generally known and have not been published before.
The growing part which the coal trade and the miners are destined to play in the economy and the politics of this country has always been before me as defining the object and scope of this book. Stricter and more extensive legislative regulation of the mining industry will be demanded, and the nationalisation of mines will be seriously proposed and discussed. No adequate discussion of such measures by the public or in Parliament is possible whilst there is widespread ignorance of the modern methods of working coal, and of the conditions