§ Mr. LAURENCE HARDY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in spite of the provisions in the Coal Mines (Minimum Wage) Bill that there should be separate district boards for South and West Yorkshire, he is aware that recognition has been given to the appointment of the same miners' representatives on both these Boards; whether this will involve the consequence that miners from another district will be called on to decide questions relating to wages and rules and conditions of working upon which they can have no full or adequate knowledge; whether he is aware that considerable loss and inconvenience has already been caused by the necessary delay to the operations of these Boards, consequent upon the same body of representatives being on both Boards; and whether, in view of the strong protests received from the employers both in South and West Yorkshire, he will take steps to secure separate and independent representation of both parties for each district on the two new Yorkshire District Boards?
The West Yorkshire Joint District Board under the Coal Mines (Minimum Wage) Act was appointed at a later date than the majority of boards owing to various circumstances which required the consideration of the Board of Trade. Amongst these was an objection taken by the employers to the composition of the men's side of the board. After careful consideration and having heard both parties, the Board of Trade were satisfied that the composition of the men's side of the Board was in accordance with the wishes of the miners of the West Yorkshire district, and they therefore did not see their way to interfere with the discretion 1885W of the men in the choice of their representatives. I have accordingly recognised the Joint District Board subject to any variation that the Board of Trade upon the recommendation of the independent chairman, might sanction with the object of securing that the Joint District Board is fairly and adequately representative of the workmen and employers in the district.