HC Deb 28 May 1940 vol 361 cc405-6
36. Sir Reginald Clarry

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is satisfied with the prospects of increasing coal production throughout the country; whether he can give any figures indicating such increases; and whether the response for the South Wales and Monmouthshire area compares favourably with other parts of the country?

The Secretary for Mines (Mr. David Grenfell)

While we have a long way to go before the situation can be described as satisfactory, the ready response which I am getting from all sections of the industry to my appeal for increased production makes me optimistic. It is not in the public interest to give production figures and in this matter it would, I feel, be invidious to single out any particular district for special mention.

Sir Herbert Williams

Has the right hon. Gentleman had any complaints with regard to the attraction of men, and particularly boys, from the coal mines to other forms of national effort?

Mr. Grenfell

Yes, Sir, there have been complaints from several districts that labour has been attracted away from the coal mines. That is one of the urgent matters to which we are giving attention.

39. Mr. Salt

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the pressure put on colliery managements to provide the greatest possible output of coal, he will consider the postponement of the work of valuation under the 1938 Coal Act, and so avoid taking the time of key men from their more urgent duties?

Mr. Grenfell

I am giving this matter further consideration in the light of the new war situation and I hope to make a statement about it at an early date.