40. Mr. GIDEON MURRAY
asked the Minister for Labour whether, in view of the shortage of coal for commercial and domestic purposes, he will make an appeal: to the miners to work longer hours until stocks are accumulated?
§ Mr. RICHARDS
Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask him whether 650 he is aware that a large number of miners in every coalfield in this country at present are working short time, due of the want of wagons, lack of transport facilities, want of machinery, want of safety lamps, and a large number of other necessities for increasing the output; and whether the Government are taking, or contemplate taking, some measures to provide those facilities?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Bridgeman)
I have been asked to reply. The working time of the miner below ground is limited by Statute to seven hours per day, and a general appeal on the lines suggested in the question is not therefore possible. If, however, my hon. Friend has in mind an appeal to the miners to work a greater number of days in the week, such an appeals already been made to those miners in Scotland, whose practice it now is to work ten days a fortnight, instead of the eleven days worked during the War. With regard to the supplementary question put by my right hon. Friend opposite, I am aware that in certain cases the difficulties to which he refers exist, but I have no information that they are general. Of course, what he has said will be carefully considered.
§ Mr. W. CARTER
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there are pits in Nottinghamshire which were standing idle four days last week owing to a shortage of proper facilities?