Coal Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th November 1947.

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Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston 12:00 am, 18th November 1947

asked the Minister of Labour how many more men it is necessary to recruit for the coal mining industry if the Government's target of the total labour force necessary is to be reached at the end of the current year.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

The total number of wage-earners on colliery books on 1st November was 715,200. The net increase necessary to raise this figure to the target of 730,000 is, therefore, 14,800. The intake required to achieve this increase' depends on the amount of wastage, which cannot be accurately forecast.

Photo of Mr George Sylvester Mr George Sylvester , Normanton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are ex-miners in the Regular Army who desire to return to the industry? Will he use his good offices to try to get them back into the industry?

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

That has already been the subject of discussion.

Photo of Sir James Henderson-Stewart Sir James Henderson-Stewart , Fife Eastern

Do the Government anticipate that their target will be reached?

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

There is some diffidence about giving a firm answer to that question. The wastage during October was over 2,000 men per week, but that has now been reduced to 1,300 a week, and we certainly stand a chance of reaching the target.