HC Deb 25 July 1944 vol 402 cc579-80
35. Mr. Tinker

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he is aware that there is a falling off of boys from mining families going into the mines; and will he take steps to get the views of parents as to the cause of this so that remedies can be found to meet it.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Major Lloyd George)

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "Yes, Sir." While I am much concerned to see a further considerable improvement in the matter, my hon. Friend will be aware that the Committee on the Recruitment and Training of Juveniles in the Coalmining Industry, which reported in July, 1942, heard evidence and received statements from many representative bodies and individuals. In these circumstances I do not think any useful purpose would be served at present by making further inquiries of the kind suggested.

Mr. Tinker

What steps is the Minister taking to find out the reason behind this falling off, because there is a grave cause and he ought to find out as much about it as he can?

Major Lloyd George

As my hon. Friend knows, the inquiry itself, which lead to the Forster Report, took evidence from people qualified to know what the conditions in the mining areas are, and since then I have made my own inquiries and I am satisfied that we know as much as we can know.

Mr. James Griffiths

Is the Minister aware that this anti-pit psychology has sunk very deep among mining families, and that no remedy will be found unless the industry is transformed into a public service?

Major Lloyd George

I would not altogether say that. It is not altogether found in the mining areas of the country as a whole. My object and aim is to make this industry attractive for its own sake.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Will the Minister inquire whether this phenomenon is peculiar to Great Britain, or also applies to America, France and Poland?

Mr. Tinker

I desire to give notice that I shall raise this matter again on the Adjournment, at the first opportunity, because I think it wants to be ventilated more fully.