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Mine Ballotees

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 29 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Labour whether he will now make a statement about the release of young men called up compulsorily to the mines.

Yes, Sir. I am circulating a full statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.I should, however, like to take this opportunity of reinforcing what was said recently by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary, in the Debate on the Adjournment. The majority of these young men called up compulsorily to the mines, and also of the optants and volunteers, have done, and are doing, an invaluable job of work in the pits. I cannot emphasise this more than by saying that we cannot do without them at this juncture. Were it not for their contribution, many thousands fewer men would at this time be working at the coalface, and the loss of the tonnage which they produce would add enormously to the gravity of the problem with which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power is confronted this Winter.

Following is the statement: