HC Deb 18 March 1937 vol 321 cc2229-30
10. Mr. Day

asked the Minister of Labour the number of insured persons in the coal mining industry classification recorded as unemployed in Great Britain as at the last convenient date?

Mr. E. Brown

At 22nd February, 1937, there were 137,067 insured persons, aged 14–64, in the coal mining industry classification recorded as unemployed in Great Britain.

Mr. Day

In view of the large number of unemployed, can the Minister say how the Government propose to deal with the situation?

Mr. Brown

I may point out to the hon. Member that, on 20th February, 1936, the number was 189,687, while, on 20th February, 1933, it was 299,646.

Mr. Shinwell

Can the right hon. Gentleman point to any Government proposal which is calculated to absorb these unemployed?

Mr. Brown

The general policy of the Government has resulted, as I have already indicated, in a great improvement.

Mr. James Griffiths

If a miner secures temporary employment in some other occupation is he thereafter still counted as a miner, or is he classified as some other kind of workman?

Mr. Brown

The classification would depend largely on how long the temporary employment had lasted.

Mr. Lawson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the reduction to which he refers is scarcely equal to the death-rate, and the rate at which people are removed from the register for other causes?

Mr. Brown

I should not accept that. There are other factors, but if the hon. Member wants to know how many people are employed in the industry, I can give him the answer.