HC Deb 19 May 1942 vol 380 cc5-6
8. Mr. Cecil Wilson

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he has any information to show the effect upon the mining industry of the frequent references to absenteeism by those who have little or no practical experience of mining life?

Mr. Grenfell

There are no means of gauging the effect of statements referring to absenteeism by people who have not full knowledge of the facts. It would be impossible to give any estimate of the harm that might be done by extravagant allegations on this subject.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Is the Minister aware that this question of absenteeism is extensively discussed in every private golf club in the country?

Wing-Commander James

Is it not the case that complaints have come from miners' leaders and officials responsible for production?

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the ignorant statements made to the Government in regard to this matter, will the Minister make arrangements with the Secretary of State for War to obtain an estimate of absenteeism in the Army and compare both figures with absenteeism in this House?

9. Mr. Wilson

asked the Secretary for Mines what has been the percentage of absenteeism during the last 12 months compared with time lost during the 12 months of a similar period prior to the war; and whether he can state the average age of those employed in the industry during each period?

Mr. Grenfell

The estimated percentage of absenteeism for the year ending March, 1942, was 9.46, as compared with the average for the year ending March, 1939, of 6.43. The average age of all persons employed in the coal-mining industry has risen from about 34½ years in 1931 to about 37 years at the present time.

Mr. James Griffiths

Having regard to the increased average age of miners and to other difficulties of the war, do not these figures show that absenteeism is more favourable than in 1939?

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