HC Deb 30 January 1947 vol 432 cc1087-8
9. Brigadier Mackeson

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how many meetings he arranged to be addressed by Members of the Government in 1946 in connection with its efforts to increase the production of coal; and the names of the organisations and political parties which have been represented on the platforms at the meetings concerned.

Mr. Shinwell

Towards the end of the year, four mass meetings of miners' and colliery officials' representatives were held at Cardiff, Barnsley, Chesterfield and Newcastle, respectively, at which Members of the Government addressed the delegates. No political parties were represented, but, in some cases, local Members of Parliament were invited. The organisations represented included the National Coal Board, the National Association of Colliery Managers the National Union of Mineworkers, and bodies representative of other groups of colliery workers.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Was not the output of oratory on these occasions in inverse ratio to the subsequent output of coal?

Mr. Shinwell

Whatever can be said about the oratory, it was certainly something very much more effective than anything that can be used by the hon. and gallant Gentleman

Mr. John Lewis

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that it is not meetings which will increase the production of coal, and that the problems of his Department and those of other Ministries could be solved if 500,000 men were at once released from the Forces in order to come back to the factories and mines?

Mr. Shinwell

I cannot say anything about that, but criticism and disparagement of the mineworkers are certainly not calculated to improve output.

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