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Volume 654: debated on Monday 19 February 1962

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asked the Minister of Power in what fields of production in the coal industry there have been increases of productivity during 1961; and to what degree.

Output per manshift was 3 per cent. higher in 1961 than in 1960; six of the nine divisions of the National Coal Board contributed to this increase.

May I take it from that reply that the right hon. Gentleman is in favour of the miners' pay increase? Would he tell the House how he would gauge the productivity of clerical workers in the industry, and how he would expect the mining industry to benefit from their increased productivity?

The fact is that overall production in the mining industry increased by 3 per cent. on average. Obviously, in some spheres it increased by more. I have already expressed my views on the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question. The average increase in productivity is, no doubt, something which the National Coal Board took into consideration.

As productivity has increased, would not my right hon. Friend agree that the proposal to increase the price of domestic coal should be rejected?