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Harworth Colliery (Dispute)

Volume 319: debated on Tuesday 2 February 1937

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asked the Secretary for Mines what action he is taking to bring about a settlement of the dispute at Harworth colliery, Nottinghamshire?

I have at present nothing to add to the answer I gave to a question by the hon. Member for Workington {Mr. Cape) last Tuesday.

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the delay in reaching a settlement is mainly due to the eviction of hundreds of men in this area, and in view of that will he exert extra pressure to bring about a settlement?

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware of the fact which has just been brought to his notice, that

Yes, Sir, the average weekly cash earnings of all wage earners employed have risen from £2 5s. 6d. in 1935 to 2 9s. 10d. (provisional figure) last year.

The reply is as follows.

the colliery company is obtaining many orders against the tenants of these houses, that this is further aggravating the dispute and is likely to cause serious trouble, and will he not take some early action?

There are many aspects of this problem, but I would prefer not to make any statement at present.

Are we to understand that the Government can take no action to put a stop to the tyrannical conduct of these coalowners, and are we to understand that men in this country are not to be permitted to join whatever trade union they desire?

Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman pay special attention to the question of the attempt of these coal-owners to evict these men, and is he aware that there has been no such eviction in Great Britain for nearly half a century, and that public opinion would overwhelmingly condemn any such action?