HC Deb 27 July 1927 vol 209 cc1237-9
51. Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

asked the Secretary for Mines what is the percentage increase in colliery workers' average earnings per shift over those of July, 1914; how this percentage compares with the increase in the cost of living; and what the same comparison has been at other periods since the end of Government control?

The SECRETARY for MINES(Colonel Lane Fox)

The latest figure that I have of the average earnings per shift of colliery workers relates to the month of

permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement:

April last. At the present time the figure would be rather lower, but during April the increase of earnings over June, 1914, was 62 per cent. and the increase in the cost of living was 65 per cent. In answer to the last part of the question, I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table which gives the information asked for since the beginning of 1922.


Is it not a fact that the figures already available indicate that the wages of almost all the miners of Great Britain are at the minimum; that the figures given by the right hon. Gentleman are over an exceptional period, and are totally different from the facts as they exist to-day?

Colonel LANE FOX

The figures which I have given are not over an exceptional period. The comparison is between the present time and the period before the War.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say how those figures compare with the corresponding figures relating to agricultural workers?


Is it not a fact that the average wages of mine workers today are approximately 30 per cent. over pre-War wages, while the cost of living is 60 per cent. over the pre-War figures according to the statistics of the Labour Ministry?

Colonel LANE FOX

No, Sir. The hon. Gentleman's figures are quite wrong, and the figures I have given are absolutely correct. With regard to agricultural workers, I am afraid that I have not got the figures.


Do the figures not prove than the miners are getting less wages than at any time since 1914?

CHANGES in the Earnings of Coal Miners and in the general Cost of Living in each quarter from 1922.
Period. Earnings per Shift.
Average Amount Percentage Increase on July,1914. Cost of Living: Percentage Increase on July,1914.*
1922. s. d. Per cent. Per cent.
1st Quarter 11 70 87
2nd Quarter 10 58 82
3rd Quarter 9 4 44 80
4th Quarter 9 46 79
1st Quarter 9 49 76
2nd Quarter 9 51 71
3rd Quarter 10 64 72
4th Quarter 10 59 76
1st Quarter 10 2¾1 58 77
2nd Quarter 10 11¼ 69 71
3rd Quarter 10 10¼ 68 72
4th Quarter 10 7 63 79
1st Quarter 10 64 78
2nd Quarter 10 63 73
3rd Quarter 10 60 74
4th Quarter 10 61 76
1st Quarter 10 60 72
April 10 60 72
May-December Dispute at Mines.
April 10 6 62 65
*Mean of four consecutive ascertainments; e.g., mean 1st January, 1st February, 1st March and 1st April=Quarter ended March.