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Coal Strippers, Scotland (Calling Up, Medical Examination)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 23 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether his attention has been drawn to the resolution passed by the Regional Coal Control Board for Scotland condemning the action responsible for a number of Bowhill strippers being called up for medical examination; and, in view of this repudiation, will he state on whose recommendation this action was taken?

The resolution to which the hon. Member refers was passed on 12th March at a meeting of the Scottish Regional Coal Board, a body whose proceedings are understood to be confidential. As regards the second part of the Question, it is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service to summon persons for medical examination under the National Service Acts.

Is the Minister aware that the controller and the coal company have repudiated any responsibility for a recommendation of this kind, and are we to understand that the representative of the Ministry of Labour has taken this action without consulting anyone associated with the Ministry of Fuel or the industry?

My answer is perfectly clear. My attention has been drawn to the resolution to which my hon. Friend first referred, and I should be interested to know how his attention was drawn to it. With regard to the latter part of his supplementary, I have nothing to add to my answer.

Were not these men called up in order that a Second Front might be opened at once?

In reply to the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher), it is, as I have said, the responsibility of the Minister of Labour to summon persons for medical examination.