§ Mr. HOLLAND
asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the high percentage of overtime recently worked in the North Derbyshire coalfield, he is aware that mechanical breakages in mechanised mines elongate the shift working and frequently the period of breakage is not regarded as part of the seven and a-half hour day, resulting in extra work being done without payment; and will he consider giving instruction that, when the time expires, men must leave their work except in cases of extreme urgency and that full rates shall be paid for extra time worked?
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
I am not aware that the percentage of overtime in the North Derbyshire coalfield as a whole is unduly high. It is obviously impossible in highly mechanised mines not to have mechanical breakdowns at times, but it is the duty of managements so to organise the work that such breakdowns are reduced to an absolute minimum. I feel sure that managers, in general, do all they can to this end. Tinder the provisions of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, the working of overtime is already restricted to certain exceptional circumstances, and I cannot see that amendment of the law in the sense suggested by the hon. Member would materially alter the present position. As regards the wages question, this is a matter for settlement between the employers and workmen concerned, and I am afraid I cannot interfere.