asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how, in view of the fact that there are no separate figures available for absenteeism amongst those conscripted to the mines, he is able to keep a check on the movements of these young men; and how many are estimated at present to be doing a full week's work in the mines.
It is an offence under the Essential Work (Coalmining Industry) Order, 1943, for a man employed at a scheduled undertaking to leave his employment without permission. Men who are reported for such an offence are dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Order, which is administered by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service. In reply to the last part of the Question, a number of special inquiries have been made from time to time, and in reply to a Question on 13th February last it was stated that the overall rate of absenteeism among Bevin Boys was then estimated to be approximately half as much again as among other workers in the industry.