The only effective alternative to mitigate the wastage in the mines, which is of the order of 25,000 workers a year, and to get the additional coalface workers that are wanted is the return of miners who are now in the field Forces and in industry.
May I turn the attention of hon. Members for a moment to another point upon which I hope I will not be doing the House an injustice when I say I doubt whether any hon. Member has really considered it before? The coal which is required to meet the needs of the gas and electricity undertakings to enable them to supply their domestic household consumers for a year on the old rate of consumption represents only 152 hours' mining output. Gas and electricity undertakings are probably the most efficient—I do not want to put the claim too high—users of coal.