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MAJOR RETHINKS PLAN TO CLOSE BRITISH MINES

By From wire services / October 20, 1992



LONDON

British Prime Minister John Major, admitting he underestimated the revolt against a massive mine-closure program, held an emergency Cabinet meeting yesterday to address the crisis.

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The Conservative rank-and-file, industrialists, and clergy strongly opposed the mine closures. The plan would put roughly 30,000 miners out of work.

If Major loses tomorrow's parliamentary vote on the closures, as appears likely, his political survival could be in doubt.

On Sunday, trade minister Michale Heseltine said that 31 of 50 mines must be closed because state-owned British Coal is losing $162 million a month to competition from subsidized nuclear plants.

Mr. Heseltine was expected to offer revisions to the plan late yesterday.