18. Mr. ANDERSON
asked the Minister of Labour how many men were medically examined before transfer from White-haven to the Kent coal mines during the three months ended 31st January, 1936; how many men were rejected as unfit; how many men were rejected as unfit on arrival at the Kent coal mines; the cost involved in transferring these men; and why all men cannot be medically examined before transfer?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
Men are not medically examined before transfer to the Kent coal mines, but every care is taken to select men who are physically fit. The hon. Member will appreciate that medical examination before transfer would not guarantee that the men would pass the medical examination at the colliery. Two of the 35 men transferred from White-haven during the three months ended 30th January, whom I assume the hon. Member has in mind, failed to pass the colliery doctor; the cost to the Department of their transfer was £9 13s. 6d.
In view of the fact that there are special circumstances attached to this mine, would it not be better for a standard examination to be set for these men before they are asked to go to the Kent coalfield, in view of a previous question to which the Minister has replied?
§ Mr. BROWN
The hon. Member was good enough to communicate with me about this, and as a result I have gone into the matter. He will see that out of 35 men, 33 passed the examination at the colliery. I cannot see, therefore, what advantage it would be if the test were made before the men left home when they would have to meet another test at the colliery.