HC Deb 03 April 1928 vol 215 cc1779-80
23. Mr. CLARRY

asked the Secretary for Mines what alteration in wages, if any, has taken place in the German coalmining industry within the period of the operation of the Coal Mines Act, 1926, which made eight-hours work permissible in this country?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Commodore Douglas King)

Since the passing of the Coal Mines Act, 1926, the wages of miners in the Ruhr have been increased twice, namely, in September, 1926, by 4 per cent., and on 1st May, 1927, by a further 6 per cent. for underground and 4 per cent. for surface workers, the minimum wage for pieceworkers being increased at the same time by 5 per cent. There have also been increases in wages in the other German coal fields.


Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman, in view of what he has said in his answer, do something to get an increase in the wages of miners in this country?

Commodore KING

The statement was made the other day, and I am glad to have it controverted, that the wages of miners in Germany were being forced down because of the Eight Hours Act.


Could the hon. and gallant Gentleman state what the original wage was, and what is the increased wage, in shillings and pence?

Commodore KING

Not without notice.


In view of the fact that, since the passing of the Eight Hours Act, foreign wages have gone up and British wages have gone down, will the Government grant another increase of hours in this country?


Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman agree with the latter part of the question, which says that the Act of 1926 made eight hours' work permissible in the coal mines of this country? Does it not make eight and a-half and nine hours compulsory on the great mass of the miners?