Industrial Disputes, Coal Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd March 1948.

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Photo of Mr George Sylvester Mr George Sylvester , Normanton 12:00 am, 2nd March 1948

asked the Minister of Labour if he will give the number of man shifts lost in the mining industry through trade disputes from V.E. day to the end of February, 1948; and comparative figures for a similar period after Armistice day, 1918.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

The number of days lost owing to industrial disputes in the coalmining industry between V.E. day and the end of February, 1948, was about ¾ million. In the 34 months from November, 1918 to August, 1921, 98 million days were lost.

Photo of Mr George Sylvester Mr George Sylvester , Normanton

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the number of days lost since V.E. day has been caused largely by the grades of people commonly called officials, who never struck under the old private owners; and, further, would not he agree that, even taking into account these stoppages, the policy pursued by this Government has saved the country from the turmoil in this industry that followed the 1914–18 war?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

I think the best and most correct answer I can give is that it is due to improved industrial relationships generally.

Photo of Sir John Langford-Holt Sir John Langford-Holt , Shrewsbury

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what percentage of these stoppages since 1945 have been official and what percentage unofficial?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

I could not say without notice.