56. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Prime Minister whether he has considered the advisability of suspending the operation of the Coal Mines Regulation Act so that miners may not be prevented from 133 working more than eight hours per day, under the powers conferred by Section 4 of the Act in the event of war or of imminent national danger or great emergency, or in the event of any grave economic disturbance due to the demand for coal exceeding the supply; and whether he has come to any decision in the matter?
§ 106. Mr. PETO
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the price of coal and the shortage in output, he proposes to put in force the powers contained in the Coal Mines (Eight Hours) Act of 1908 by Order in Council to suspend the operation of the Act, in the event of war or of imminent national danger or in the event of any grave economic disturbance due to the demand for coal exceeding the supply available at the time?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Prime Minister has asked mo to reply to the question addressed to him. I will answer at the same time the question asked by the hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Peto). The matter is receiving the careful consideration of the Government, but I am not in a position yet to make any statement on the subject.
§ Mr. McKENNA
Yes, Sir, I think in a matter of this kind both the employers and employés should be consulted before any action is taken.
§ Mr. SUTTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Miners' Federation of Great Britain has protested against Clause 4 of the Mines Act being put in operation?