HC Deb 13 April 1960 vol 621 c1256
35. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that, because of the policy recently adopted by the National Coal Board, 45 per cent. of those employed in the small mines in the Merthyr Tydfil constituency have been rendered unemployed; and what action he will take to ensure suitable employment for these men.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Edward Heath)

In the last three months, twenty-one men have ceased for various reasons to be employed in licensed mines in the Merthyr Tydfil area. Two of them are still registered for employment, and my officers are endeavouring to place them.

Mr. Davies

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in that very area the unemployment figure has varied from 4½ per cent. to 5 per cent. for the last four to four-and-a-half years? Will he also take into consideration that most of these miners now displaced from the small mines, by reason either of age or injury, will not be able to take up work in the deep mines?

Mr. Heath

I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman has another Question on the Order Paper dealing with the disabled and that in those matters there will be some difficulty. Of the twenty-one men referred to in my reply, all but two have secured employment and we are hoping to place these two.