Mr. David Adams:
asked the Secretary of Mines whether urgent attention is being given to the provision of canteens at all pits so that meals of the kind required can be provided through the 24 hours; whether consideration has been given to the question of some allowances towards long-distance travelling expenses of mineworkers; and whether local omnibus service schedules are being varied to meet daily pit requirements?
The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes" The responsibility for provision of canteens rests with colliery owners, but it has been agreed that the Miners' Welfare Commission shall assist in the provision of the type of canteen service desired by the miners and, where required, a 24-hours' service is in operation. In the large majority of cases where canteen service has been asked for by the miners, a service is now in operation, and active steps are in progress to meet the remaining demand. Grants towards the cost are being made by the Miners' Welfare Fund. As regards the second and third parts of the Question, the Government are prepared to stabilise the cost of travelling incurred by mine-workers, and discussion is proceeding regarding the means by which this shall be effected: machinery exists for securing that service schedules are varied where necessary to meet the needs of pits.