§ 63. Mr. TINKER
asked the Secretary for Mines if he is now in a position to make a statement in respect of the pressure put upon the men at the Three-quarters Mine, Chequerbent Collieries, near Bolton, to work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, 9th November, and Friday, 10th November; and will he say what action he proposes to take to put a stop to such attempts at breaking the Seven-and-a-half-hours Act?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I have had full inquiry made into this case and as a result I am satisfied that it would not be possible to prove to the satisfaction of a court that the overtime contravened the Emergency provisions of Section 1 (2) of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908. I understand that every effort is being 693 made to improve the position at this colliery and I shall continue to have it closely watched.
The hon. Member is no doubt aware that in response to representations by the Miners' Federation of Great Britain I have agreed to carry out a special inquiry into the whole question of overtime under present-day conditions, with particular reference to the problems arising out of machine mining. My Department is actively engaged in preparations for this inquiry, which will be carried out as expeditiously as possible, and will, I hope, furnish some information which will help us in dealing with what is admittedly a very difficult and complicated problem.
§ Mr. TINKER
Is the Secretary for Mines aware that these men lost two days' work and two days' wages, and does he not think that his Department should do something to get the money repaid?
§ Mr. T. SMITH
Does the hon. Member consider that the colliery company were justified in keeping these men in the pit from 7 o'clock in the morning until 10 o'clock at night—
§ 64. Mr. TINKER
asked the Secretary for Mines if lie is aware of the alleged breach of the Seven-and-a-half-hours Mines Act at Messrs. Ackers Whitley, Plank Lane Collieries, Leigh, Lancashire, when a workman at the No. 5 pit worked from 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 19th September, to 4.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 20th September, a total of 14 hours, and on Wednesday, 20th September, from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 a.m. on Thursday, 21st September, a total of 14 hours, and that when the workman objected the next day he was discharged; and will he say what action he intends to take against the colliery company?
§ Mr. BROWN
I had this case investigated on the 25th September, and as in the previous ease I am not satisfied that the circumstances would enable a breach of Section 1 (2) of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, to be proved. I understand that the workman concerned was reinstated on the 28th September.