§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Watkinson)
In the first eight months of 1955 the total number employed in the basic industries increased by 72,000. This was largely a seasonal increase but it is 17,000 more than in the corresponding months in 1954. In coal mining, however, the number in employment declined by 6,000 in the first nine months of the year. To meet the situation in coal mining my Department in conjunction with the National Coal Board is conducting a widespread publicity campaign designed to encourage recruitment to and discourage wastage from the industry. Agriculture will benefit in future from the new National Service deferment arrangements, and in general special attention is given as necessary by the employment exchanges to filling vacancies in the basic industries.