HC Deb 23 June 1921 vol 143 c1536
94. Major KELLEY

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can state the percentage by which the wages of coal miners exceed those paid in 1914 to the same workers in Germany, France, Belgium, and the United States?


The latest statistics cover underground workers only, and the record ends with 1920. Obviously no useful comparisons can be drawn from, these figures unless they are viewed in close relation to the corresponding increases in the cost of living in the various countries. In Germany the increase in the wages of underground miners from 1914 to 1920, as given in the "Official Gazette" for 14th April, 1921, was 980 per cent. For France, there are no official statistics available. The French coalowners stated in November, 1920, that the wages of underground workers had risen by 363 per cent.; but the men appear to put the advance no higher than 267 per cent. In Belgium, the increase is stated in the Bulletin on the Economic Situation to be 381 per cent. The United States "Monthly Labour Review" in June, 1920, declared that the wages of miners of bituminous coal had risen by 98 per cent.

Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD

In the case of the German miners does not the increase depend to some extent on the rate of exchange?


Yes, and also, I understand, on the corresponding increase in the cost of living in these countries. Both must be taken into account.