§ Mr. Mainwaring
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the proportion of the total labour force engaged in the South Wales district of the mining industry employed in actual coal-getting during the years 1925, 1935 and 1945 to the nearest date.
§ Mr. Shinwell
The most satisfactory way of showing changes in the proportion of the total labour force actually engaged 357W in coal-getting is by a comparison of the number of shifts worked at the coal-face at different dates, expressed as a percentage of the number of total shifts worked at those dates. It cannot however be expected that over so long a period as 20 years the figures so obtained will be strictly comparable with one another. It is not possible to use for this purpose the series given in the Annual Statistical Digest (Cmd. 6639, Table 54) in view of the change in the definition of coal face workers introduced in 1943. The only suitable figures available are those collected for wage ascertainment purposes. For South Wales and Monmouth, these percentages were 43.3 per cent, for 1925, 44.2 per cent. for 1935 and 36.5 per cent, for the first six months of 1945.