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THE COAL TRADE

of employment of miners. My purpose has been to provide knowledge of facts and a point of view. It is always the lives and personality of the workers in an industry which appeal to me as the most important aspect of it, as indeed they are to the nation; so I have grudged no space for the chapters dealing with miners' lives and their organisations.

I collected materials dealing with the history of coal mining, the finance of mining enterprises, mineral royalties and coal leases, a comparison of American and continental mining methods with our own, export duties in coal, the retail coal trade, the nationalisation of mines, and other subjects, but want of space forbade my treating them adequately—I also rejected them in some cases because they were too technical, and in others because I had determined to avoid controversy. The book has had to be written in my spare time, so that although I have been engaged on it for some four or five years, there has been no time for me to make minute verification of all my information. I can hardly hope, therefore, that there are not a few errors or misstatements; but I believe they are not many, as I have read carefully the earlier written portions without finding anything serious amiss. One great difficulty arises from difference of usages and technical names in the principal coalfields, which are so confusing that both the employers and the miners' leaders are constantly troubled by them when they meet together in national conferences. I must also point out that almost the whole of the