This chapter explains how far the traditional competitiveness was modified by joint action among concerns which maintained a separate existence. A scarcity of fuel in Edinburgh was attributed to a combination of coalmasters, and led to the formation of a local association which by working seams reduced prices. Coalowners' Associations were in active operation in Fife and Lanarkshire. The former originated in 1868, and set a precedent by meeting representatives of miners in conference. The Lanarkshire body included only one-fourth of the local industry, and similarly decided, not on the actual rate of wages, but on a general advance or reduction. An Association of Mine Owners of Scotland gave evidence on the Master and Servant Act through its Secretary and law agent, William Burns, Solicitor, Glasgow. Burns, well-known as a champion of Scottish nationalism, was also on the Executive of the "Mining Association of Great Britain."