asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, in view of the attribution by miners' leaders of the poor output of coal to the inadequate diet of miners, what this diet is; and whether any efforts are made to ensure the consumption of nutritious food by the workers in question?
Miners in addition to the household rations, either receive the special cheese ration or are able to obtain nutritious meals at pithead canteens. These canteens are entitled to supplies of food on the Category A Scale of allowances to industrial canteens which includes special allowances of bacon, meat, fats and sugar. Canteens in operation are serving a total of 684,000 men and further canteens are in course of construction or development.
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the number of coalminers who are provided with a hot meal at pit canteens and the number who are not able to get such a meal; and whether he is taking any new measures to improve the diet available to miners?
About 245,000 coal-miners (35 per cent. of the total) work at collieries which have canteens serving full meals but only 29 per cent. of these men were actually taking advantage of that service in January when returns were last obtained. These and some of the other colliery canteens also serve hot snacks, but the number of men who take these is not known. Additional full meal canteens are under construction or in preparation at 216 collieries which, when completed, will extend the service to 61 per cent. of all the miners employed. As regards the last part of the Question I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to him on 5th May.