HC Deb 06 August 1942 vol 382 cc1201-2W
Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the case of Daniel Derrick Morris, aged 21 years, who had left the mining industry at the age of 18 on account of shock due to witnessing the death of a fellow-workman, joined the Merchant Navy and was subsequently discharged, and, after working in a munition factory, was directed by the National Service officer to take work as a skilled collier at the Groesfaen colliery, was refused such work as he had never been a skilled collier, and was prosecuted by the National Service officer and fined £3 and £2 2s. costs; and whether, in view of the indignation caused, he has any statement to make?

Mr. Bevin

I understand that Mr. Morris was employed in coalmining from the time he left school until he was 19½ years old; this included 2½ years on the coal face as collier's assistant. The prospective employers were prepared to accept him for employment as a collier in the full knowledge that he had not previously worked in that capacity. I have no record of any statement by him that his reason for leaving coalmining employment was that mentioned in the Question. His ground for refusing the employment offered was ill-health, but on independent medical examination he was pronounced fit for underground employment. When proceedings were about to be taken Mr. Morris offered to start work as a dumper at a different colliery and this was taken into account by the stipendiary magistrate.