HC Deb 19 July 1926 vol 198 cc876-8
31 and 50. Mr. HADEN GUEST

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (1) what special facilities, if any, will be afforded to coal miners who may wish to migrate from this country in the near future;

(2) asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the probability of a large permanent reduction in the number of coal miners employed in this country in the near future, the Government will consider the possibility of facilitating the migration to undeveloped mining areas in the Dominions of such British miners as may desire to avail themselves of these facilities?


With the hon. Member's permission, I will answer question 31 together with one which he has addressed to the Prime Minister on a cognate subject, and which the Prime Minister has asked me to answer on his behalf. The possibility of finding employment overseas for miners in their own trade has been considered, but I fear that there appears at present to be little prospect of any opportunities of this nature. The possibility of affording special facilities for the settlement of miners overseas as workers on the land is receiving consideration. As I stated in reply to the hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Sir Samuel Chapman) on the 14th June, any scheme of this nature would require the full approval of the Oversea Governments concerned.


Would it not be desirable, in view of the urgency of the problem, that a special statement should be made as to what the special facilities for miners will be, as there are likely to be such a large number unemployed?

Commander WILLIAMS

Will the Minister also consider the question of the Cornish miners, who are real miners and much more efficient?


Will the right hon. Gentleman bring this question as a specific issue before the Imperial Conference?


Oh, yes, I will be glad to do so. As to the Supplementary Question of the hon. and gallant Member for Torquay (Commander Williams), I believe the Cornish miners are finding considerable openings at this moment in the expanding gold fields of Canada.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there is any prospect of an arrangement being come to before the Imperial Conference meets, or will it have to wait till then?


If we could make arrangements I would gladly complete them before the Conference met but I do not wish to give an answer that would encourage false hopes.


Before sending miners abroad to work on the land, will not the Government consider putting them on the land at home?


Any scheme for the training of miners to make them suitable for settlement on the land would give them an opportunity of finding an opening on the land here.