Statistics.

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 19th May 1942.

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Photo of Mr Cecil Wilson Mr Cecil Wilson , Sheffield, Attercliffe

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can give the number of shifts worked during each of the five years before the war and for each year since August, 1939?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

I am sending the figures to the hon. Member for his confidential information, together with the figures for the pre-war years. I would point out that in view of the changes in the number of persons employed, the figures would be misleading on their own and I propose, therefore, also to provide the figures of the average number of shifts worked per person employed.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

What national interest is served by depriving the British public of this information?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

There is no intention to deprive the British public, but there is a public abroad who would like very much to know how we are getting on with coal production.

Hon. Members:

So would we.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Does the Minister not appreciate that that is precisely our difficulty?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

It is far better to give hon. Members the information confidentially than to broadcast information even more of interest to people abroad than at home.

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of wage-earners on the colliery books employed underground and on the surface, respectively, in 1938 and 1941–42?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

The figures for 1941 are not yet available, and it is not possible to make the comparison asked for by the hon. Member.

Photo of Mr William Foster Mr William Foster , Wigan

asked the Secretary for Mines the average number of shifts worked weekly per man employed in the British coalfields; and to give figures for each district?

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

These figures are not published, but they have been collected for the use of my Department, and I will send the hon. Member the particulars for his confidential information.