HC Deb 18 October 1949 vol 468 cc468-9
24. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Labour, in view of the declining manpower, what special steps he is taking to recruit more workers to the coalmining industry.

Mr. Isaacs

Coalmining continues to have first call on all available manpower. Recruitment publicity continues and coalmining employment is offered to all suitable unemployed men.

Mr. Swingler

Is the Minister aware that the manpower in the coalmining industry is still 65,000 less than it was 10 years ago, and that, in view of this fact, the miners are to be congratulated on the present output? Will he circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the vacancies which now exist in each coalfield?

Mr. Isaacs

I will not give an undertaking on the second point until I have considered it. As to the first point, it is true, of course, that production is being maintained, but there has been a good deal of mechanisation in the industry which leads to a reduction in manpower.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Will the Minister bear in mind in this connection that many pits are being closed as well?

Mr. Hollis

Will the Minister explain exactly what he means by the phrase "first call" which he used in his answer.

Mr. Scollan

The one before the second.

Mr. Isaacs

It means that out of the list of priority jobs offered to men going to the employment exchange coalmining is the first job offered to them.

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