HC Deb 19 May 1942 vol 380 cc7-8
12. Mr. Hannah

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is satisfied that the coalowners are in all cases working the best available seams to ensure a maximum output?

Mr. Grenfell

My technical advisers are engaged in a close investigation of the position in each coalfield with a view to increasing output. Their reports disclose no appreciable ground for complaint about the working of the best available seams.

Mr. Gordon Macdonald

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that he has the machinery at his disposal to give the information asked for in the Question?

Mr. Grenfell

Every coalfield and every pit has been examined, and reports upon the conditions in every pit have been brought to me, and I find no grounds for believing that this complaint is well-founded.

14. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Secretary for Mines the tonnage figures per person employed at the coal face and the average tonnage per person employed in the mining industry, respectively, during 1938 and the latest date available.

Mr. Grenfell

No figures are available of wage-earners employed at the coal face. The average output for all classes of workmen was 301 tons in 1941 and 297 tons in 1938.

Mr. Smith

In view of the increase in individual output, should not my hon. Friend's answer at least prevent ill-informed criticism?

Mr. Grenfell

There can be no dispute that the output per miner per annum was higher last year than it was before the war.

Mr. McNeil

Are we to understand that these companies cannot give the figures per man working at the coal face?

Mr. Grenfell

We know what number of men are classified as coal-face men, but we could not give with accuracy the number of men actually engaged in winning coal.