HC Deb 16 May 1928 vol 217 cc1021-2

asked the Secretary for Mines whether in view of the increasing unemployment amongst miners, due to the pooling arrangements which have led to the closing down of pits, the Government contemplate any action to deal with the situation?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Commodore Douglas King)

Unemployment in the mining industry is due to economic causes. I am unable to accept the statement that pooling arrangements have increased unemployment in the aggregate, though it is possible that they may have changed its incidence.


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that, as the result of the closing down of pits, large numbers of miners have been rendered unemployed, and will he answer the question whether in view of these circumstances the Government contemplate any action?

Commodore KING

The first supplementary question is answered by my original answer. It may have changed its incidence. Some men may have been thrown out of work but more men are fully employed. The second supplementary question is one for the Ministry of Labour.


Because of the importance of this question, I put it down to the Prime Minister. Having regard to the fact that it was transferred to the hon. and gallant Gentleman's Department, can he say, as representing the Government, if it is his intention to do anything to put the matter right?

Commodore KING

I do not understand that any question to do with unemployment for the Ministry of Labour has been transferred to my Department.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

Is not much of this unemployment in consequence of the depreciation of our export trade in our great raw material, coal, and has not that been caused to a large extent by the action of those who recommended the general strike?


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that restriction of output is a deliberate part of the schemes which have been put into operation? Men have been thrown out of work because of that, and so far from this putting them into full work, there is actually a shortage of coal at the ports where the export coal goes.