Coal Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 1st October 1942.

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Photo of Sir Arnold Gridley Sir Arnold Gridley , Stockport

is to increase the skilled labour in the mines by returning to them at once men now in the Forces. That is the policy which has been urged upon the Government for the last 18 months.

If the problems of the Minister of Fuel and Power are to be solved, the War Cabinet should come to a decision to act upon the advice given them in the Motion on the Order Paper to-day. I beg the War Cabinet to give the Minister the manpower that he wants in order to make sure that the coal the country needs may be won from the pits. It is all very well to estimate what the present and the growing requirements are and what the production must be in order to meet it. How do we know and how can we possibly foresee what unexpected contingencies will have to be provided against? We ought not to be trying merely to balance our demands with the production. We ought to have a reserve of sufficient amount to meet any contingencies with which we are likely to be faced. God has put into the earth the greatest asset, which mankind is able to draw freely from the earth.