HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 c1697
26. Mr. Tinker

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been drawn to a conference held by the Lancashire and Cheshire mineworkers protesting against overtime being worked, as it is contended it is a breach of the 7½-hours Act; whether his Department is keeping a careful watch on this overtime question; and whether steps are being taken to stop it?

The Secretary for Mines (Captain Crookshank)

I have seen references in the Press to a conference of this nature, in which it is stated that the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners' Federation intend to approach the colliery owners in order to discuss the question. With regard to the second and third parts of the question, it is part of the duties of His Majesty's inspectors of mines to deal with infringements of the law in regard to hours of work in coal mines.

Mr. Tinker

Is the Minister aware that the miners are of opinion that the inspectors do not take this matter as seriously as they should, and will he impress upon the inspectors the need for watching this matter?

Captain Crookshank

I have explained what the duties of the mines inspectors are in dealing with infringement. What the opinion of the miners is I can receive, of course, only through the usual channels.

Mr. Batey

Is it not also the duty of the Secretary for Mines to deal with this question? Is the Minister aware that his predecessor started to deal with it, but that it has since been dropped?

Captain Crookshank

The hon. Member is quite wrong. We have a special inspector to deal with this matter. What is more, I have received no representations from the Miners' Federation, the Lancashire Federation or from any other official body.

Sir John Haslam

Is it not a fact that the Lancashire and Cheshire miners are more satisfied now than they have been for a dozen years?

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