HC Deb 08 July 1941 vol 373 cc13-4
24. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Secretary for Mines what financial assistance is possible from the Miners' Welfare Fund or other sources to enable canteen facilities to be provided at collieries in the various coalfields; and what is being done to expedite these facilities?

Mr. Grenfell

Now that the Ministry of Food have agreed that supplies shall be available for canteens to be established at collieries, it is for the employers, in this as in other industries, to take steps to establish them, co-operating where necessary in the provision of suitable accom- modation. The Miners' Welfare Commission has circulated all necessary information for their guidance and has offered to make grants for the requisite equipment where recommended by district miners' welfare committees. The Commission staff are using their good offices to speed up the arrangements.

Mr. Smith

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that grants are large enough to set up the equipment? Is he also aware (hat, as I informed him, one of the first of these canteens set up is absolutely first-class, and that there is also a feeling in the coalfields, so I am informed, that some of the colliery managements have not yet canteen minds?

Mr. Grenfell

I am very glad to have received the details of the arrangements made at the Yorkshire Colliery mentioned by my hon. Friend. I have sent these particulars to Sir Frederick Sykes as an example of the kind of provision which we would welcome everywhere. I hope there will be additional money available for the purpose of creating accommodation for serving certain additional allowances of food at the pithead.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

Can my hon. Friend inform me why canteens in the mining industry should be a charge, more or less, on the welfare committee, whereas in other industries it is a charge on the employers?

Mr. Grenfell

No, it is not a charge on the employers in many industries. There are large funds available under the care of the miners' welfare committees, and I do not think we shall fail in carrying out this work for want of funds.

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