HC Deb 13 March 1947 vol 434 cc1465-6
13. Mr. Garry Allighan

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if, in order to encourage the return of ex-miners to the pits, he will arrange with the Minister of Transport to grant free railway tickets to enable them to travel back to the coal-fields and, with the President of the Board of Trade, to grant coupons to enable them to purchase the clothing and boots necessary.

Mr. Shinwell

I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour that under existing arrangements made by his Department, free fares can be given to enable ex-miners and other workers to take up employment in the coalmining industry. Under arrangements already made by my Department with the Board of Trade all ex-miners, returning to full time underground employment after six months employment elsewhere, are entitled to 30 additional coupons for the provision of suitable working clothing and boots.

Mr. Allighan

Will the Minister ensure that the first part of the statement is made widely known so that every possible ex-miner is aware of these facts, and with regard to the second part, will he see that once these men arrive on their new job in the mine they do not suffer delay by having to go from one official to another before they obtain these coupons?

Mr. Shinwell

As regards the first part of the supplementary question, the Question and answer will no doubt provide further information. As regards the second part, so far as I am aware there is no difficulty.

Mr. Murray

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in spite of the coupons which have been given there are miners in Durham Who cannot go to work on the next shift because their clothes are so wet and they have not another suit to change into?

Mr. Shinwell

No one knows better than my hon. Friend that if the men in Durham are in difficulties they should report it to their lodges.