HC Deb 22 March 1938 vol 333 cc986-7
37. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of pithead baths completed during 1937 and the number expected to be completed during the present year; whether the programme of construction outlined by the Miners' Welfare Committee is proceeding as planned; and whether he is satisfied that the income derived from the present levy is sufficient to carry the plan through, having regard to the increased cost of building?

Captain Crookshank

Twenty-one new pithead baths and five extensions were completed in 1937; 64 new baths and six extensions are expected to be completed during the present year. The Miners' Welfare Committee's construction programme for 1937 and subsequent years is based on an estimated expenditure of £625,000 a year on baths. The building contracts placed during 1937 slightly exceeded that amount, and the preparations already made will, I am assured, result in contracts of about the same value being placed this year. The additional accom- modation provided by expenditure of this amount will, unfortunately, be less than 18 months or so ago, owing to increased cost of building. Apart from that consideration, however, some fresh financial provision will be necessary if the programme of accelerated construction is to be continued after this year. This problem is receiving consideration.

Mr. George Griffiths

Can the Minister say what proportion of voluntary finance is included in the £625,000, and how much comes from the ½d. per ton?

Mr. J. Griffiths

If it is necessary, will the Minister consider the advisability of raising the levy?

Mr. A. Bevan

Is it not a fact that, at the present rate of construction, it will be many years before all collieries are equipped with pit-head baths; and did

Year 1937.
Estimated Total Amount of Wages. (Cash.) Estimated Total Value of Allowances in kind. Average Weekly Earnings per person.
Cash. Value of Allowances in kind.
£ £ £ s. d. s. d.
Great Britain 110,024,000 4,081,000 2 15 5 2 1
Yorkshire* 20,661,000 541,000 2 17 8 1 6
Durham 13,990,000 1,742,000 2 8 0 6 0
Northumberland 5,493,000 632,000 2 8 4 5 7
* Information is not available for South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire separately.