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Coal Industry

Volume 155: debated on Monday 19 June 1922

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Average Output Per Man-Shift

46.

asked the Secretary for Mines the average output of coal per shift during the first five months of the present year; and whether he can show the comparison between these figures and the output in the corresponding months in the years 1907, 1913, and the five months preceding the Report of the Coal Industry Commission presided over by Mr. Justice Sankey?

The average output of coal per man-shift of seven hours during the first five months of the present year was nearly 20 cwts., as compared with 19 cwts. per man-shift of eight hours during the five months preceding the Report of the Coal Industry Commission. Figures for the corresponding months of 1907 and 1913 are not available. During the latter half of 1913 the average output of coal per man-shift of eight hours was about 21 cwts.

May I ask whether, in point of fact, the introduction of the seven hours' day has not been a very serious mistake in the industry?

Notts, Derbyshire And Yorkshire Coal-Fields (Geological Survey)

47.

asked the Secretary for Mines whether the Geological Survey is to resume the resurveying of the Notts, Derbyshire, and Yorkshire coalfields; and whether any revised official estimate of the area of the concealed portions of those coalfields is to be issued to replace the Estimate made by the Royal Commission on Coal Supplies?

This question concerns the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and I have accordingly been asked to reply. The resurvey of the Nottingham and Derbyshire coalfields has been completed. The resurvey of the Yorkshire coalfield may be started this year. The Estimate given by the Royal Commission on Coal Supplies in 1905 was not prepared by the Geological Survey, but the Survey issued, in 1913, a geological memoir on the concealed coalfield of Yorkshire and Nottingham, which included the information then available for publication. The records bearing on this matter are being kept up-to-date, and when sufficient new information is in hand, a revised edition of this memoir may be issued.

Will the right hon. Gentleman see to it that members of the Survey take full advantage of all the colliery plans in the district before issuing their Report?

Colliery Villages

72.

asked the Minister of Health whether a scheme has recently been prepared for the building of colliery villages in Notts, Derbyshire, and elsewhere to the value of £1,000,000 or more; and what encouragement or financial assistance is the Government affording?

I am glad to say that an important scheme is being undertaken by an association of colliery owners, who are forming an industrial housing association, based upon the principle of trading without profit, with a programme which includes the erection of some 10,000 houses at the rate of 2,000 a year without any form of Government subsidy. The association proposes to make application for a loan from the Public Works Loan Board. I welcome this scheme as an indication that some of the large employers of labour recognise an obligation to provide houses for their work-people, and I hope the example will be largely followed.