HC Deb 25 July 1933 vol 280 cc2423-5W

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs which British industries have been directly affected by the increases in the Australian tariffs since the signing of the Ottawa Agreements?


The following statement gives particulars of the classes of goods in respect of which increases of Customs duty on United Kingdom goods have been made by His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia since the signing of the Ottawa Agreements.

ment; and the number and percentage each year of those destroyed in consequence of disease, old age, blindness, worn out, and from other causes?


No figures are available for years prior to 1912. For 1912 and subsequent years, except the War years 1915 to 1918 inclusive, information can be obtained from the Annual Reports of the Divisional Inspectors of Mines, but to present it all in the form of a statistical statement would involve an expendi- ture of time and labour that would be quite disproportionate to the value of the result because, as I have explained in reply to previous questions, it has been found that the statistics have been compiled on different bases in different districts.


asked the Secretary for Mines the year or years during which the employment of horses and ponies first became general in mines; whether at any time a number of the horses employed underground were hired from contractors at weekly or daily rates; and when was this practice discontinued?


Horses were commonly employed on the surface at collieries in the seventeenth century, and probably earlier, to work" gins" for winding coal or raising water. Their employment to haul coal on the underground roadways dates from about the middle of the eighteenth century, when wooden, and later iron, wagon ways were adopted underground in the larger mines. In some districts, however, coal was transported below ground by human labour until well into the nineteenth century. Although no statistics are available, it is probable that some impetus to the adoption of horse haulage, in substitution for human labour, was given by the Mines and Collieries Act, 1842, which abolished the employment in mines of women and girls and of boys under 10 years of age.

Numer of Wage-Earners Colliery Books, 1924 to 1932.
Counties. 1924.* 1925. 1926.† 1927. 1928. 1929. 1930. 1931. 1932.
Argyll 116 9 35 41 19
Ayr 14,347 13,014 13,225 12,439 10,472 11,057 10,221 10,425 10,059
Dumfries 1,759 1,643 1,585 1,569 1,412 1,477 1,284 1,276 1,170
Renfrew 585 550 571 247
* These figures relate to the year as a whole. Particulars for June are not available.
† March figures—June figures are not available