§ Mr. Kirby
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered the Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure relating to Ordnance Factories; and whether, having in mind the national need for increased output and to avoid rationing of coal, he will quickly arrange a transfer to the mining industry of all fit miners at present employed in Royal Ordnance Factories said to have a surplus of labour?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Yes, Sir. Special steps have been taken since the summer of 1941 to secure the return to the pits of all ex-miners who are still suitable for such work and who can possibly be spared from their present employment. By agreement with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply all ex-miners employed in Royal Ordnance Factories who are suitable for return to the pits (except those in supervisory grades) have been made available for return and, apart from a small proportion whose suitability is still under consideration, they have so returned. The ex-miners brought under review are those who have had at least six months coal-mining experience since 1st January, 1935. It has been found that a very high proportion of them are now unfit for underground colliery work.