HC Deb 20 November 1945 vol 416 cc207-8
18. Captain Chetwynd

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power by what extent average earnings per wage earner in the coal industry have increased since the outbreak of the war.

Mr. Shinwell

In the second quarter of 1945 the average cash weekly earnings of workers in the coal industry was £5 13s.10d. as compared with £2 18s. 3d. in the corresponding quarter of 1939, an increase of 95 per cent. There was a similar increase in the value of allowances in kind.

Captain Chetwynd

Is the Minister satisfied that the present rate is commensurate with the services of the miners to the community, and can he give the relative position of wages in the mining industry and those in other industries?

Mr. Shinwell

This, of course, is the average rate; it applies equally to adults and to juveniles. It does not give the earnings in every case, which are sometimes very much higher. As regards the comparative position, there was a time not so long ago when the wages of miners were about 86th on the list; now they have reached almost the front rank.

Sir Wavell Wakefield

Do these wage earnings include the wages of surface workers as well as of workers at the coal face?

Mr. Shinwell

This applies to all the workers at the colliery.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Could the right hon. Gentleman circulate in HANSARD, in addition to his answer, a percentage figure giving the output per man for the corresponding period?

Mr. Shinwell

If the right hon. Gentleman, who is well acquainted with the rules of the House, will put down a Question, he will get an answer.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us the relative purchasing power of those two figures which he gave for 1939 and 1945; and has the increase of wages brought any betterment to those who receive them?

Mr. Shinwell

I think that Question might properly be put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

20. Colonel Clarke

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what are the average earnings assessed on an hourly basis of all adult workers in coalmines under ground and at the coalface.

Mr. Shinwell

I regret that there are no official statistics distinguishing between the earnings of adults and juveniles or between those of workers at the face and other workers.

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