Divisional Coal Boards (Salaries)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th November 1946.

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Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames 12:00 am, 15th November 1946

I desire to raise this afternoon, as I have already given notice, the refusal of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Fuel and Power to disclose to this House the salaries to be paid to members of Divisional Coal Boards. The brief history of the matter will, I apprehend, make it perfectly clear that this refusal was deliberate and calculated, and not, as one might sometimes have suspected of the right hon. Gentleman, the result of a fit of petulance. The question was first raised with the right hon. Gentleman in one of those agreeable Press conferences which he conducted during the summer. He then, unquestionably within his rights, refused to answer the question. On 8th October, my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the New Forest and Christ-church (Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre) put a written Question to the right hon. Gentleman. Perhaps I might refresh the memory of the House by giving an extract from the somewhat lengthy reply which the right hon. Gentleman was good enough to make.

The right hon. Gentleman, in his written reply, said this: These Divisional Boards are not statutory bodies and are not appointed by me. They are appointed by the National Coal Board as part of its managerial staff. He goes on to say a little lower down the column: I have no intention of giving general directions on such matters as the salaries the Board should pay to their staff, which under the Act is essentially a matter for them to decide themselves."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th October, 1946; Vol. 427, c. 25.] On 29th October I put a Question to the right hon. Gentleman, and in his first reply he was good enough to refer me to the answer to the Question—