South Yorkshire Coalfield

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th March 1948.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough 12:00 am, 9th March 1948

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the labour unrest in the Barnsley coalfield, and that the Grimethorpe colliery men are still dissatisfied with the stint they are being asked to work; and in view of the urgency of preventing disputes, what his conciliation officers are doing to prevent a repetition of last year's stoppage.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

I am aware of the position in the South Yorkshire coalfield. There is established constitutional machinery in

tary to get more workers into the cotton industry, and thus build up the amount of material.

Photo of Mr Philip Piratin Mr Philip Piratin , Stepney Mile End

Is not the Minister aware that some of these men have been signing on at the employment exchanges for some months and have not been offered alternative work?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

I should like to have notice of that question and go into it, because it may be that alternative work has been offered to them, but at such a distance that it may not have been convenient for them to travel to it.

Photo of Mr Philip Piratin Mr Philip Piratin , Stepney Mile End

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will set out the number of unemployed registered at the Settles Street and Burdett Road, Stepney, employment exchanges, in each case showing the various industries concerned.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

As the reply involves a table of figures I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

the coalmining industry for the prevention and settlement of disputes, and it would not be proper for my officers to take any action that might impair the authority of that machinery. I am sure, however, that there is full appreciation in the Yorkshire coalfield, as elsewhere, of the need in the national interest to avoid any disturbance to this vital production.

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the existing machinery is working sufficiently well to prevent a repetition of the trouble we had last year?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

I do not know whether any machinery could always prevent trouble, but I am satisfied that the machinery is in operation. It has its difficulties, but we think it would only complicate matters if the Government were to step in before the local machinery operated.

Photo of Mr George Sylvester Mr George Sylvester , Normanton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the question of Grimethorpe is now being discussed with the appropriate consultative committee? Furthermore, is he aware that there is very little unrest in the Barnsley area, and that the figures show that only last week at least 12 pits in the area beat their own targets?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

It is very gratifying to have that firsthand information.

Photo of Mr Thomas Scollan Mr Thomas Scollan , Renfrewshire Western

Since this kind of question is allowed, are we to take it that now the Government are accepting the right of any Member in the House to raise any question about nationalised workshops or factories anywhere in the country?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

That question does not arise here.