HC Deb 19 March 1923 vol 161 c2150W

asked the Secretary for Mines what is the total number, approximately, of firemen, examiners, or deputies employed in each of the coalfields of Great Britain; and in which coalfields, if any, the firemen, examiners, or deputies devote the whole of their time to their statutory duties as defined in Section 14 of the Coal Mines Act, 1911?

Lieut.-Colonel LANE-FOX

I have no later information than that shown on page 94 of Vol. III of the Report and Appendices of the Sankey Commission. This showed that, in the collieries from which returns were received, 24,229 firemen, examiners and deputies were employed, or approximately 3 per cent. of the total number of workers at those collieries. The same proportion for all collieries at the present day would give a figure of rather more than 30,000. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the wording of the Section of the Act quoted by him, which shows the exceptions to the general rule that the whole time of the firemen, etc., shall be devoted to their statutory duties. My information is that the provisions of the said Section are complied with in all coalfields.