Miners (Coal Allocation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Fuel and Power – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th October 1945.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel John White Lieut-Colonel John White , Canterbury 12:00 am, 9th October 1945

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if, in view of the shortage of coal for domestic purposes that will arise in the winter, he will make the necessary arrangements with the representatives of the mine owners and mine workers for a temporary cessation of the issue of coal free or at special rates to mine workers, the said mine workers to be given the same allocation of coal as other domestic consumers and cash payments to be made in lieu of the additional tonnage at present received by them.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

The tonnage of coal to which mine workers are entitled free or at concessional rates is governed by agreements in the various districts, some of which include provision for cash payments to be made in lieu of coal voluntarily surrendered. I have impressed upon the two sides in the industry the desirability of extending arrangements of this kind so that further savings in coal consumption may be encouraged.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel John White Lieut-Colonel John White , Canterbury

Does not the Minister feel that the 4,500,000 tons of coal now required to meet the requirements of miners could and should be distributed at a suitable time over a wider field?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

That is a question that I would like to see on the Paper.

Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

Does not the Minister know that this cheaper price of coal to the miner is shown in the tonnage price list and he pays for it every week out of his wages?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I have indicated that these matters are subject to agreements.

Photo of Sir Edward Keeling Sir Edward Keeling , Twickenham

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether miners' households are also allowed as members of the public to buy coal at ordinary rates?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Under the agreement, coal is provided in certain cases; where it is not so provided, they come under the ordinary arrangements.