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Coal Mines (Nationalisation).

Part of Orders of the Day — King's Speech. – in the House of Commons on 11th February 1920.

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Therefore, if the House of Commons is under the impression that we are supporting a scheme which will bring into being a system of bureaucratic control for managing the mines I cite those clauses of the Report as evidence that it is not designed by the Commission, and most certainly would not be accepted by us if it was proposed by the Government that this great key industry should be managed and controlled by bureaucrats. We therefore support nationalisation first because we want to have economy in management. We next support nationalisation because we want to have greater safety in the working. Last Monday I was at one of our ordinary district miners' councils where the agent gives detailed reports of the work of the mines and in some of those he had to report a series of inquests in consequence of the deaths of men engaged in the mines. The miners' industry, do what you will, is a dangerous industry. It is a ghastly record. We are so familiar with it that we seem sometimes to get indifferent. The average death rate for the last nine years was 1,407, or four every day.