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Volume 645: debated on Monday 24 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Power if, in view of the number of miners leaving the mining industry, he will give a general direction to the National Coal Board to offer a bonus payment to encourage miners to stay in the mines similar to that which is proposed to be paid to soldiers to retain them in the Army.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Secretary of State for War is offering £200 to retain the services of young men in the Army? Does not he think that from the point of view of the national interest it is just as important to keep young men in the mines as it is in the Army?

After the study which the hon. Gentleman has made of the Army and the mining industry, I am sure that he will have noticed certain differences between the two organisations. This is not, in fact, a matter for me. One difference is that perhaps the discipline attached to the recent bounty award might appear irksome to some people working in the mining industry.