HC Deb 05 July 1927 vol 208 cc1076-8
44. Mr. G. HALL

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the amount of distress in South Wales, especially in the Aberdare and Mountain Ash areas; that numbers of collieries are closing down, while others are working but a few days per week; and whether he can now state what steps the Government propose taking to deal with this situation?

Colonel LANE FOX

I have been asked to reply. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on 23rd June to the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. R. Richardson), to which I have nothing to add at present.


Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether the Government have considered dealing with this depression in the coal industry on the lines of last year by again increasing the hours of miners?

Colonel LANE FOX

No, Sir. No such suggestion has been made. I would point out that the amount of unemployment has certainly not been made any worse by that. There are many cases where pits that are working longer hours now would certainly not he working at all if the hours had remained at seven and the cost of production had not been reduced.


Are the Government declining to take any steps at all to provide work for those who are out of work and the hundreds of thousands of miners who are on short time, neither of whom are receiving sufficient to live on? Are we to understand that the Government are simply doing nothing to provide these people with work?

Colonel LANE FOX

No, Sir. If the hon. Gentleman refers to the answer I gave some days ago he will see that is not the case.


Cannot we be told to-day, in answer to this question, what steps the Government are taking now or are likely to take to relieve the depression?

Colonel LANE FOX

No, Sir. As I said in my answer, I have nothing to add to that statement.


Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House whether the Government really are doing something to provide work for these people, and, if they are not, will he tell us why they are doing nothing?


Is it not a fact that the Coal Commission Report told us that the only way to improve employment and conditions was to see to the revival of the steel trade, and will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman consult with his colleagues to see what can be done to bring that about?


What are you going to do about it?


(for Sir ROBERT HUTCHISON) asked the Secretary for Mines whether any action has been taken and, if so, what action, in consequence of the Reports of the Departmental Committee on Co-operative Selling in the Coal Mining Industry, 1926?

Colonel LANE FOX

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer given to a question by my Noble Friend the Member for South Nottingham (Lord H. Cavendish-Bentinck) on 23rd June.

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