HC Deb 13 November 1934 vol 293 cc1740-1
2. Mr. MILNE

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that the pithead baths at Aitken Colliery, West Fife, are not yet provided with a canteen; that this adversely affects the health and comfort of the men using the baths, and the delay in providing a canteen is due to a disagreement between the Central Miners' Welfare Committee and the district welfare committee as to which of these bodies should provide the money required; and what steps he proposes to take to end this situation and secure that the baths are provided with a canteen?


I am aware that the pithead baths at Aitken Colliery have no canteen. Canteens have been provided at only 64 of the 152 baths erected so far under the Mining Industry Act, 1926, the decision as to whether or not a canteen should be added to a bath installation at the cost of the Miners' Welfare Fund having been in the hands of the District Miners' Welfare Committees, which are the bodies entrusted with the duty of advising the Central Committee how the District Funds can most advantageously be utilised. I understand that the Central Committee have undertaken to provide canteens out of the Central Baths Fund at the baths started after 1st January this year where they are satisfied that a canteen is required, but that the basis upon which the Baths Fund operates from that date does not enable them to contemplate providing canteens at baths started before that date. The duty of allocating the Miners' Welfare Fund is vested entirely in the Miners' Welfare Committee, and I am afraid I cannot interfere.


I understand that the Secretary for Mines has no power to coerce but has power to persuade. Would he be willing to use his remarkable powers of persuasion to bring this unfortunate situation to an end?


Representations should be made in the district where those concerned are adequately represented on the Miners' Welfare Committee both on the men's and the owners' side.