HC Deb 01 July 1924 vol 175 cc1120-1
43. Mr. HARDIE

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that the prospectus of the United Anthracite Collieries shows an output of 600,000 tons of anthracite and an estimate of £250,000 profits, which is equal to 8s. per ton; and whether he will include such published profits when dealing with the miners' wage?


I have read this prospectus. I gather that the output expected by the promoters is larger than 600,000 tons per annum, and that the estimated profits do not relate solely to the business of coal mining. But, however this may be, I have no responsibility for the figures upon which the miners' wages are determined. The calculations for this purpose are made by the independent accountants appointed by the mineowners and the miners respectively in each district, and the figures to be taken into account are settled by them in accordance with the principles laid down under the National Agreement.


Am I to understand that the principle which governs the Depart- ment is that it is not the profits which the colliery owner makes which is to decide the wages, and that profits have no relation to wages? If the profits of a colliery are to have no relation to wages, what is to be the basis on which wages are to be settled?


I am afraid that my hon. Friend did not listen very carefully to my answer, in which I pointed out that the Department has nothing to do with the miners' wage agreement.


Is it not a sad fact that the high hopes held out in prospectuses are not always borne out in the performance?