HC Deb 24 October 1944 vol 404 cc19-20
40. Lieut.-Colonel Dower

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether his attention has been drawn to threats made against young men ordered to work in the mines who have omitted or declined to join a trade union; and what action he proposes to take to prevent the continuation of such acts of intimidation.

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Major Lloyd George)

My attention has been drawn to one case in which a letter sent by a local official of a trade union to a ballotee appears to have been indiscreetly worded, and my regional officers at once made the position clear to the union concerned. I know of no cases of intimidation but if my hon. and gallant Friend has any in mind, I should be glad to look into them.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware of a letter that was sent to young conscripted miners commencing "Dear Friend," which went on to say that if they did not join their trade union "unfriendly actions may be taken against them"? That is signed by the Committee. Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that these young men will probably only be in the mines for the duration of the war? Why, then, should they join the union?

Major Lloyd George

As I pointed out in my answer, my attention has been called to one case, to which the hon. and gallant Member has just referred. There are 24,000 ballotees in the mines to-day, and one case really does not worry me very much.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not aware that the miners have done everything possible to make the Bevin boys comfortable?