HC Deb 04 April 1944 vol 398 cc1792-3
27. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he can give any estimate of the annual cost of the increases in wages resulting from the recent agreement to accept the Government's proposals for the overhaul of the wage structure in the coal industry; and what increases this cost and the cost of the Porter Award, respectively, will cause in the price of coal to the consumer.

Major Lloyd George

As regards the first part of the Question, the ascertainment of the appropriate percentage additions for each district, which the two sides of the industry asked me to undertake, is not yet complete, and until it is and certain additional information is available from the districts, a full estimate of the increase will not be possible. As regards the second part of the Question, the cost of the Porter minimum wage award is estimated at about £5,000,000 per annum, which is equivalent to approximately 6d. per ton for annual supply tonnage.

30. Flight-Lieutenant Raikes

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power for the period July to September, 1943, the wages bill of the coal industry; the output of saleable coal; and the average number of persons employed.

Major Lloyd George

Information as to the wages bill for the whole of the coal mining industry is not available. Returns made in connection with the wages ascertainments relating to undertakings accounting for 96 per cent. of the total output show that the wages paid by those undertakings during the September quarter of 1943 were £42.75 million (excluding the value of allowances in kind which amounted to £1.29 million). The saleable coal output at these collieries was 45,279,000 tons and the average number of persons employed 667,200. The estimated saleable output of the industry as a whole during the same period was 46,468,000 tons and the average number of wage-earners on colliery books was 704,100.

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