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Miners, Armed Forces (Release)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 2 November 1943

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5.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the conditions by which ex-colliery workers will be released from the Services; and can he give the number who will come under it?

As regards the first part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 19th October to my hon. Friend the Member for East Rhondda (Mr. Mainwaring). As regards the second part, I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War that it is not possible at this stage to estimate the number who will be affected.

Have the Government laid down definitely the conditions under which these men shall be released from the Services? I take it that the answer to which he has referred did lay them down definitely, and if that is so, it is the cause of a lot of dissatisfaction, because the House of Commons has not discussed what the conditions ought to be.

If my hon. Friend will study that answer, he will find that it is clear what men are involved and what has happened at the moment. The reason the information cannot be given is because all the particulars have not yet come in.

Is the Minister aware that since he made his statement hundreds of these men have been writing to hon. Members asking what is to be done, and can he not be more specific, so that these men can be satisfied?

I am sorry if that is the case, but that is not due to anything we have done. I gave an answer to the Question I was asked, and it is a very explicit one. I have written to many hon. Members personally, and if any hon. Member wants further information, I will give it, but if the hon. Member will study the answer given, he will find there all the information which is necessary.

In view of the unsatisfactory state of the position, I beg to give notice that I want the whole matter cleared up, so that people may know exactly what they have to do.