HC Deb 27 July 1944 vol 402 cc865-6
1. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour, if he can give figures as to the number of persons, now registered at employment exchanges, who have been certified as partially disabled by the medical board under the Pneumoconiosis Orders; and what facilities for training for alternative employment are available for these men.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

I regret that statistics are not available which would enable me to answer the first part of the question. Men who, on account of Pneumoconiosis, are unable to continue coalmining employment are eligible for training under the Interim Scheme for the Training and Resettlement of Disabled Persons.

Mr. Griffiths

In view of the fact that there are now a large number of men, possibly several hundreds, awaiting examination and likely to be partially disabled, and since a large number of them are located in West Wales, will my right hon. Friend make inquiries whether training facilities in that area can be provided?

Mr. Bevin

I will look into the matter.

14. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of applications made in the past 12 months to the Medical Board under the Pneumoconiosis Scheme; the number certified and refused certificates; and the number still awaiting examination.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

The number of applications received by the Medical Board under the Coal Mining Industry (Pneumoconiosis) Compensation Scheme between 1st July, 1943, when it came into force, and the 30th June, 1944, was 4,762. Of these 1,328 were certified and 1,168 were refused certificates. The number still undecided by the Medical Board at the 30th June was 2,235.

Mr. Griffiths

Are steps being taken to expedite as far as possible the examination of the men, in view of that long waiting list?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, I am doing my very best about the matter. The difficulty is, of course, the medical people, and there is a very large number of cases which, I am afraid, have not much chance and rather clog the machine. On that matter I have sought the co-operation of the South Wales Miners' Federation. I am very anxious to catch up with the arrears.

Mr. E. J. Williams

Do these figures pertain to the whole of the British coalfield?

Mr. Morrison

I presume so, Sir, as the question was in those terms.

Mr. Williams

Can we have the figures for South Wales and for the other coalfields?

Mr. Morrison

I do not know. Perhaps my hon. Friend will communicate with me about that matter and I will see what can be done.

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