HC Deb 06 February 1941 vol 368 cc1051-2
1. Mr. Daggar

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the number of half-day's employment experienced by mine workers in parts of South Wales and Monmouthshire; and whether he is prepared to consider the need for allowing such periods of unemployment to be calculated in a manner so as to provide unemployment benefit to the workers so affected?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

I am informed by my hon. Friend the Secretary for Mines that the average number of days worked by collieries in South Wales does not indicate that there is at present an abnormal degree of short-time working. The remedy for the degree of difficulty which exists lies in further organisation of the arrangements in the industry. I cannot contemplate the alterations my hon. Friend suggests in the conditions of the Unemployment Insurance Scheme which cannot be confined to mine workers.

Mr. Daggar

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that six half-days constitutes the waiting period, and as the Statutory Committee is about to issue its annual report, will he advise it to have regard to the point I have raised?

Mr. Bevin

I cannot advise the Committee. I am afraid that is outside my province.

Mr. James Griffiths

Is my right hon. Friend aware that colliery companies are told the night before that their employés must work a full day and that they then discover that they can work only half-a-day? Will he look into that problem?

Mr. Bevin

I think that question had better be put to the Minister of Transport and the Secretary for Mines.