HC Deb 06 March 1934 vol 286 cc1641-2

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of mines in which pit-head baths have been provided; the number without pit-head baths; and the estimated cost of providing suitable pit-head bath accommodation at all mines in the United Kingdom?


At the end of 1933 159 mines employing about 190,000 wage-earners had been provided with pit-head baths. In addition, building had been commenced or grants made for baths at 48 mines employing about 58,000 wage-earners, making a total of 207 mines with 248,000 wage-earners. There remain some 532,000 wage-earners without pit-head baths. To provide all these with baths, including canteens, would cost between 7½ and 8 million pounds. The hon. Member will realise, however, that there are a number of cases of small mines, or mines with only a short life ahead, where the construction of pit-head baths would not be a reasonable proposition. Apart from these cases, I estimate that approximately £7,125,000, the total which will be made available during the next 19 years under the Bill now before the House, will be sufficient to complete the programme.


As there are 540,000 miners who still need pit-head baths, does the Minister not consider that we should continue the levy and not reduce it?


No. There is a big advantage in the present Bill, because, instead of a short period of five years, it makes provision for 20 years and a programme that can be planned ahead. Further, the hon. Member must understand that the technical staff available for the work is limited.


Does the Minister suggest that the miners should wait for 20 years before they get pit-head baths?

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