HC Deb 19 December 1928 vol 223 cc2994-7

asked the Minister of Labour the number of miners registered as unemployed in the first week of each month since October, 1926?


Statistics of unemployment in particular industries are only available in respect of a date towards the end of each month. I

NUMBER OF INSURED PERSONS in Great Britain classified as belonging to the coal mining industry recorded as unemployed.
Date. Number.
Wholly Unemployed. Temporarily Stopped. Total.
25th October* 106,037 106,037
22nd November* 105,328 105,328
20th December* 124,838 124,838
24th January 146,613 53,863 200,476
21st February 134,528 63,211 197,739
21st March 121,385 84,366 205,751
25th April 114,066 104,374 218,440
23rd May 111,131 100,270 211,401
20th June 119,070 114,221 233,291
25th July 132,460 125,743 258,203
22nd August 136,510 108,213 244,723
26th September 131,256 97,265 228,521
24th October 133,912 89,779 223,691
21st November 139,188 82,514 221,702
19th December 142,096 65,100 207,196
23rd January 138,538 72,645 211,183
20th February 144,449 70,993 215,442
26th March 148,023 52,009 200,032
23rd April 159,597 49,294 208,891
21st May 161,300 84,290 245,590
25th June 168,966 130,483 299,449
23rd July 179,386 145,546 324,932
20th August 180,488 115,992 296,480
24th September 178,699 72,381 251,080
22nd October 173,774 106,236 280,010
26th November 176,947 105,346 282,293
* The figures are exclusive of persons who were disqualified for benefit by reason of the dispute which commenced on 1st May, 1926.
33. Dr. J. H. WILLIAMS

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that mineowners are imposing, and seeking further to impose, reductions of district wage rates, in some cases 20 per cent., below the rates agreed upon at the beginning of this year; and if he will take steps to see that miners who refuse to accept the reduced rates and who are consequently thrown out of work are not refused unemployment benefit?


The matters raised in the first part of the

will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement giving such figures as are available.

Following is the statement:

question are for my hon. and gallant Friend the Secretary for Mines, and perhaps the hon. Member will address a question accordingly. As regards the last part of the question, the hon. Member will be aware that the question of allowing or disallowing unemployment benefit is a matter not for me but for the statutory authorities.


Was it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to answer this question by consulting the Mines Department, as this is the last day for questions before the House rises? With regard to the second part of his answer, is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that large numbers of miners have been deprived of their unemployment benefit because they refuse to accept lower rates of wages than the agreed rates set down in the wages agreements?


As regards the first supplementary question, I communicated with the Mines Department to see whether I could get the answer. I understood that the Secretary for Mines did not recognise any reduction such as was stated in the question, and that, therefore, if I were to attempt to give an answer it might mean going into details which were not in my possession. As to the second question, I am unaware of the facts mentioned, and, in any case, they do not come within my jurisdiction.


Are we to understand that a man is regarded as not "genuinely seeking work" if he refuses to accept a starvation wage?

Several HON. MEMBERS rose


I must ask hon. Members to assist me in making progress with the questions on the Paper.

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