HC Deb 15 November 1951 vol 493 cc1153-4
34. Mr. Stephen Swingler

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he proposes to take to attract more men into the coalmining industry.

Sir W. Monckton

Employment exchanges, in collaboration with the National Coal Board, will continue to offer employment in the mines to all suitable applicants, and the advertising campaign which was started last August will be continued. The alternative of entering or re-entering the coalmining industry instead of the Armed Forces is being brought more prominently to the notice of young men registering for National Service. It is hoped that it will be possible to secure the acceptance by the miners' lodges of an increased weekly inflow of Italians.

Mr. Swingler

Is the Minister aware that this is the most vital question which faces his Department at present? Does he appreciate that the idea that the most important industry of the country can be maintained only by the perpetual recruitment of foreigners will never inspire the mine workers? Will he consult with the miners' leaders and provide ways and means for more people to enter this industry?

Sir W. Monckton

I shall certainly consult with the miners' leaders with that object in view. I was not suggesting to the House that the only way of dealing with this matter was by recruiting more Italians; I quite appreciate that that is not so.

Mr. Peter Roberts

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that the work which is being done by foreign miners is very useful and acceptable?

Sir W. Monckton

Certainly, Sir.