Disabled Ex-Miners

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st May 1947.

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Photo of Mr William Foster Mr William Foster , Wigan 12:00 am, 1st May 1947

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will discuss with the National Coal Board the employment in the mining industry of unemployed exminers suffering from some slight physical disability, but fit and capable of performing useful work underground or on the surface, submitted by respective local employment exchanges for notified vacancies.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I am informed by the National Coal Board that every consideration will be given to cases of disabled exminers who apply for employment, and an effort made to find work for them of a character suitable to their conditions.

Photo of Mr William Foster Mr William Foster , Wigan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are thousands of ex- miners suffering from slight disability who are signing on at the employment exchange and who, in some cases, have been submitted to the local collieries for employment and have been rejected on medical grounds?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

There is considerable difficulty about this matter because, in the main, these persons are suitable only for work on the surface and, as we are not in need of more workpeople for surface work, it is not easy to re-employ them. The matter is under review and we are doing the best we can.

Photo of Mr William Foster Mr William Foster , Wigan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these ex-miners who received their injuries at the collieries are unable to obtain employment in other industries because of their injuries and that work underground or on the surface is their only access to employment?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I am well aware of that, and I am fully in accord with my hon. Friend in trying to secure employment for these men. I understand that the National Coal Board are doing their best to absorb them.