HC Deb 01 March 1910 vol 14 cc746-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention had been drawn to the trouble which had arisen in the Welsh coalfields over the interpretation of the Clause in the Coal Mines (Eight Hours) Act, by which underground workmen may be required to work an additional sixty hours a year; whether this Clause was only intended to apply to house coal districts, and was not meant to be of general application; and whether he would bring in or support an amending measure making that fact clear, or, as an alternative, issue a circular letter to colliery owners to that effect?


My attention has been called to the question which has arisen in South Wales in connection with Section 3 of the Act. I am not aware that there was any intention on the part of the Government or of the House that the operation of the provision should be limited to the special class of house coal mines, though those mines may have been specially mentioned as illustrating the need for a provision of this kind. I believe it was, in fact, intended to meet difficulties in times of pressure, but it is not so limited in the Statute. I am afraid I can make no promise as to legislation on the subject, and I do not see how I can usefully intervene in the matter at the present moment.