asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he has received any information with regard to the charges made against the management of the Bedwas colliery of telling workers to go and work up to their waists in water whilst in the same pit there was a dry coal face at which they could have worked and which was available at the time for production?
Major Lloyd George:
I have had inquiries made, and I am informed that on Monday and Tuesday, 8th and 9th June, there was difficulty at Bedwas Colliery owing to a face called R. 35 striking a fault which gave off water. This water drained to a lower face called R. 37. Some men on this face were provided with gumboots, but at no point along the face was there any excessive quantity of water. Some men might temporarily have had to work in about five inches of water. They dry face referred to, which was presumably R. 35, was not then available for production as it was necessary for work to be done to develop inside the disturbance and to complete the ventilating circuit. This work has only recently been completed. The conditions were recognised as abnormal and the management made special payments accordingly. The allowance was considered inadequate by the men and there was a short stoppage, but after negotiations work was resumed by the end of the morning shift on 10th June.
Is it not rather a pity that under the protection of this House such irresponsible and mischievous statements should be made, which are calculated to disturb the otherwise peaceful solution that might possibly have been reached?