HC Deb 01 March 1915 vol 70 c551

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the terms of reference of the committee recently appointed to consider the existing conditions in the coal-mining industry have given rise to the impression that coal miners have been backward in joining the forces and that the main object of the committee is to find a remedy; and, if so, if he is prepared to make any statement on the subject?


Yes, Sir. I am informed that such an impression has arisen, and I regret that the drafting of the terms of reference should have led to any such misunderstanding. It is hardly necessary for me to inform the House that the coal miners have made a ready and generous response to their country's call in the present emergency, and I have no doubt that when the recruiting figures are published, the mining industry will occupy a very high place, on the list. Indeed, it is because the enlistment in some districts has been so great that it has become necessary to consider what steps should be taken to ensure the supply of coal necessary for the public service, and it will be the business of the committee to inquire into the whole position. With the concurrence of the committee the terms of reference have been amended to remove the misapprehension, and I propose to circulate them with this answer.