Skip to main content

Disputes (Coal Industry)

Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Minister of Labour how many shifts have been lost in the coal industry since 1st January, 1947, by reason of unofficial strikes in that industry.

The total number of man shifts lost through disputes in the coalmining industry in the 26 weeks ended 28th June, 1947, was 311,300. Information is not available which would enable roe to distinguish between unofficial and official strikes.

Can the Minister explain this high figure of over 300,000, in view of the alleged advantages of nationalisation?

Can the Minister say whether it is far less than it was under private enterprise?

Without any figures, I can say that it is considerably better than it was under private enterprise, but I can say also that it is not only wages that make men happy and comfortable in their jobs. There are other things that get into the machine and cause disturbances.

Would the Minister impress upon the miners that they are now national servants and owe a duty to the people of this country who employ them, and that they should take an oath of allegiance to the State to carry out their work as State employees?

That is a good Socialist sentiment, and we will keep it in mind, but may I remind the hon. Member that he also is a servant of the State as a Member of this House, and that he does not help coal production by—[Interruption.]

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman since when the House of Commons has been nationalised?