HC Deb 23 March 1944 vol 398 cc1033-4
45. Mr. Foster

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability of taking over full financial control of the mining industry for the period of the war, in view of the present unsatisfactory position of the industry and the failure of the present form of control to produce good relations between the employees in the industry and the coalowners and the maximum output of coal.

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister sees no reason to alter the views on this subject which he expressed at con- siderable length in the course of the Debate in this House on 13th October last.

Mr. Foster

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask him, in view of the fact that the present form of control in the mining industry, which has been in operation for two years, has failed to produce good relations between the workmen and the coalowners, and also to produce the maximum amount of coal; and in view of the fact that we are having trouble after trouble—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."] In view of that fact, and in view—[Interruption.] May I ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he is aware that the troubles in the mining industry can be traced to the present form of control, that is, the dual form of control—

Mr. Speaker


Mr. Erskine-Hill

As a similar experiment carried out in the last war was successful—

Mr. Speaker

We have not got to the end of the first question yet.

Mr. Shinwell

As it is obvious that the existing form of control is not proving satisfactory, will the Government reconsider the whole matter?

Mr. Attlee

It is obvious from the length of the question of the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Foster) that this is a matter which cannot be dealt with adequately by way of Question and answer.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Do I understand from the right hon. Gentleman that he, too, is still of opinion that there is no crisis in the mining industry, in spite of the fact that there are all these stoppages and that they are continuing?

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

This is becoming a Debate.