HC Deb 12 February 1929 vol 225 c207

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that in many places in South Wales unemployed miners are unable to obtain coal for their own domestic use; and will he take action to remedy this?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Commodore Douglas King)

I am not sure whether I correctly understand what the hon. Member has in mind, but, if he is referring to the free coal or coal at special prices which is supplied by colliery companies to their employés, I would remind him that, where this custom exists, it is an incident of employment, and cannot be enforced after the contract of employment has been terminated.


Does that mean that these poor, wretched men, owing to some rule or other, are not able to obtain coal for their wives and children?

Commodore KING

No, Sir; I know of no case where miners are unable to obtain coal. I do know of cases where special arrangements have been made to enable them to get it, and, in other places, Where it is being provided at the local market rates.


Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman state definitely in this House that these men in no case are deprived of obtaining coal?

Commodore KING

I do not understand what the hon. Member means by "deprived of obtaining coal." I am not aware of any case where they are unable to get it.


Does not that mean the same thing?


Is it not the case, that, while miners who are employed do get domestic coal as part of the terms of employment, the question asked relates to unemployed miners?

Commodore KING

Both the reply that I gave in the first place and my supplementary replies have dealt with that point.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

If you have hundreds of miners unemployed, they cannot get the coal.