Coal Situation

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

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Photo of Mr Gwilym Lloyd George Mr Gwilym Lloyd George , Pembrokeshire

This is part of one of the things upon which I am engaged at the moment, and that is the question of the survey, which is vitally important, and it will be bound to take a little time, because we have not had an up-to-date survey in this country at all.

With regard to absenteeism, which was raised at every meeting to which I went, let me say quite frankly that in general the majority of the men are working considerably more shifts than in pre-war days. There has recently been a good deal of discussion about absenteeism among miners. The rate at present is between 10 and 11 per cent. for the country as a whole. This is an overall figure, which includes voluntary as well as involuntary absenteeism, and absenteeism through sickness and accident which operates with great severity in this industry. Nor should it be forgotten that in considering the rate of absenteeism account must be taken of the number of shifts worked by miners compared with the number worked at any other period in the history of the coalmining industry. I have no information which leads me to believe that absenteeism among miners is greater than that of any other industry.