I have nothing to add to the statement which I made in answer to a Question by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sloan) on 3rd February, except to say that my decision to advise remission of the remainder of the sentences in these cases was taken after carefully weighing all the relevant considerations.
The House will realise that it is not customary for the Home Secretary to give reasons for recommending remission of sentences. I do not think that I can go beyond what I said in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire, when I stated:
While I do not in any way question the propriety of the action taken by the justices on the facts before them, I regard the amicable settlement of the dispute as an earnest of the determination of the workers at the Bettishanger Colliery to make the fullest contribution to the national effort and in these circum stances I felt justified in recommending the remission of the remainder of the sentences of imprisonment imposed on the miners' leaders."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd February, 1942; col. 1059, Vol. 377.]
I think that the action taken meets the requirements and the British desire for fair play.
In view of the publicity which this matter has had is the country, may I ask whether my right hon. Friend is aware that this industry has been remark ably free from trouble during the war?