HC Deb 14 November 1939 vol 353 cc578-9W
Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that miners are being called up to the armed forces; and whether he will consider obtaining their release to enable the country to produce the maximum amount of coal for export and in this way lessen the development of indebtedness to other countries?

Mr. Jenkins

asked the Secretary for Mines whether it is intended to accede to the request of the coalowners to lower the age to 18 years, of reserved occupations in mines?

Mr. Lloyd

In common with men from other industries, miners under the ages of reservation given in the Schedule of Reserved Occupations are being called up for service and they cannot be released, save in a few really exceptional individual cases. I fully appreciate that the mining industry must have adequate man power to provide the output of coal required for all essential purposes and I am at present in consultation with the other Departments concerned with a view to reductions in the ages of reservation for certain classes of mine workers.