HC Deb 19 December 1944 vol 406 cc1606-7
32. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will take steps to disclose confidentially to colliery managers and representatives of mineworkers in Great Britain the American Report on British Collieries.

Mr. T. Smith

No, Sir. Such a widespread distribution of the Report would not be consistent with the decision of the Government, announced by my right hon. Friend in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward) on 17th October.

Sir J. Mellor

As the Report has already been disclosed to a number of people, and no question of principle arises, could not the disclosure usefully be extended, in confidence, to more people engaged in the industry?

Mr. Smith

I am of the opinion that if you disclosed the terms of this Report to such a wide number of people as is suggested, it would be a secret no longer.

Mr. Leslie

Can we not have a copy of the Report in the Library?

Miss Ward

As the miners' leaders say that they have seen the Report, and as they use it for propaganda purposes, should not the mineowners also see the Report?

Mr. Molson

How is it possible for the coalmining industry to act on the recommendations of this Report if the Report is not available?

Mr. Smith

I appreciate that, but the decision not to publish was taken by the Government, for reasons given by my right hon. and gallant Friend some time ago.