§ 37. Mr. LUNN
asked the Secretary for Mines whether, as there is now a surplus of men holding first-or second-class certificates, a number of them in addition holding degrees or diplomas, it is still the policy of the Department to operate Section 22 of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, so debarring these men from attaining to the higher official positions, and at the same time to refuse to amend Regulation 47, so barring them, to a very large extent, from the position of over-men?
§ Colonel LANE FOX
Nothing that the Mines Department is allowed to do under Section 22 of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, will debar any holder of a first- or second-class certificate from seeking the higher posts in the industry; nor is any person so qualified debarred from seeking the post of overman. All who hold qualifying certificates for the respective posts are, and will continue to be, eligible for appointment on their merits.
§ 40. Mr. ALLEN PARKINSON
asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the fact that in 1921, the latest date for which the figures are available, there were only 400 fewer men holding first-or second-class certificates employed, otherwise than as managers or oversmen, 1835 than there were oversmen holding only firemen's certificates, and that since that time about 2,000 certificates of competency have been granted under the Coal Mines Act, he will consider the advisability, in the interests of safety and efficiency as well as for the encouragement of the large number of students attending the mining classes in the mining districts, of so amending Regulation 47 of the Coal Mines Act as to make it compulsory that the official defined in that Regulation as superior to the fireman, but inferior to the under-manager, shall be required to hold at least a second-class certificate of competency under the Coal Mines Act?
§ Colonel LANE FOX
This proposal has been very fully considered, on several occasions, during the past few years and rejected. All the considerations to which the hon. Member calls attention were taken fully into account, and no fresh reasons for re-opening the question have been brought to my notice.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider doing something some time for the improvement of the mining industry?