HC Deb 21 January 1948 vol 446 cc204-5
48. Mr. Raikes

asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that miners of hematite ore are not accorded the same rations as coalminers; and if he can give the reason for this discrimination.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Edith Summerskill)

Hematite ore miners receive the same rations as coalminers, with the exception of the extra 1s. worth of meat which was given to stimulate the output of coal. Unfortunately, supplies do not permit the extension of this concession to other groups of heavy workers.

Mr. Raikes

Do I understand from that reply that iron ore workers are to be penalised in regard to the meat they receive since they have not either the numbers or the political influence of the Miners' Federation?

Dr. Summerskill

That is not the case.

Mr. Butcher

Are we to understand from the Minister's reply that miners do not require the meat for reasons of health?

49. Mr. Raikes

asked the Minister of Food what requests he has received from iron ore employers' associations for a deputation to discuss granting to underground iron ore workers the same rations as are given to underground coalminers; and what was his reply.

Dr. Summerskill

My right hon. Friend received a request on 11th November from the Board of Conciliation for the Cumberland iron ore trade to meet a deputation to discuss extra rations. A reply was sent advising the Board that, in order that the claim could be examined, we should be grateful if they would put the suggestion first to the T.U.C., who have advised us on these matters ever since 1939.

Mr. Raikes

Do I understand from that reply that it is the policy of the Government to discourage employers' associations from making applications on behalf of their workers for their welfare, and is that in harmony with the declared wish of His Majesty's Government to promote goodwill in industry.

Dr. Summerskill

No, Sir. We do not discourage anybody, but, application having been made, we allow the Advisory Committee of the T.U.C. to decide the matter.

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