asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that absenteeism among the face-workers in the Yorkshire Amalgamated Collieries has risen from 14.72 per cent. in the first quarter of 1939 to 21.79 per cent. in the first quarter of 1942, the bulk of the consequent loss of output deriving from 20 per cent. of the workers, which includes a high proportion of the younger men; why the Government, having assumed disciplinary control, has taken no effective steps to face up to this issue; and what action he now proposes to deal with it?
Mr. Adamson (Lord of the Treasury):
I have been asked to reply. The statistics of attendance for these collieries for the periods referred to have been examined, and I should inform the hon. and gallant Member that the absenteeism percentages quoted present a very misleading picture. Although the number of shifts lost has increased since 1939, the number of shifts worked per man has also increased by a third of a shift per week. The apparent increase in absenteeism is thus due to an increase in the number of shifts offered. As to the latter part of the Question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the White Paper issued on 3rd June.