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Allowances (Ex-Employees)

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power to what extent the National Coal Board is continuing the practice of many colliery companies of making coal and rent allowances to former employees who were severely disabled while on military service.

I am not aware that there was any general practice among colliery companies of the kind suggested, or whether there are cases where the Board have discontinued the practice of their predecessors, but if the hon. Member has a particular case in mind and will send me details, I will invite the National Coal Board to look into it and communicate with him.

Is it not true that a national organisation like the Coal Board has less soul, discretion and humanity than a private employer, and may I take advantage of the right hon. Gentleman's offer to send him particulars of a case where a disabled ex-Service man was continued in his house with his free coal allowance, but where the Coal Board has cut it off?

On the contrary, judging by what the National Coal Board have done in recent months, they have displayed much more humanity than their predecessors. I think that the hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. I have made inquiries, and I cannot find that these practices were in operation when the pits were privately owned. However, if the hon. Gentleman has a specific case in mind of which I am not aware, I shall be glad to have particulars of it.