Home Industry and Commerce Mining From Mr. J. A. Hall, C.B.E., J.P., Yorkshire Miners President

From Mr. J. A. Hall, C.B.E., J.P., Yorkshire Miners President

December 1951

South Yorkshire Times, December 29th, 1951

From Mr. J. A. Hall, C.B.E., J.P., Yorkshire Miners President

“If 1951 has been a good year for the miners, 1952 should be better.

This follows the normal trend of things in the industry. And what is good for the miners cannot be a bad thing for other people:— tradesmen and others —living in industrial South Yorkshire. The hopeful prospect  I gave for readers of the “South Yorkshire Times” Series a year ago has been fully justified.

What has the year brought? Increased earnings, increased production, improved compensation, regulations, an extension of pithead baths schemes and last but not least pensions for miners.

“And with, it all we have had stability and security in the industry. There never was a time when the status of the miner was higher; the miner never commanded greater respect. It is now fully recognised that the mining industry is the keystone to our national economy.”

“We are now approaching the end of the first five years of nationalised administration of the coal industry and it is significant that in the past few weeks we have realised our ambition to provide the nation with one million tons of coal per week.

How important this is will be realised when it is mentioned that “Yorkshire provides at least one-fifth of the country’s coal. And, moreover. Yorkshire coal is of the best for both industrial and domestic purposes. I think it can be truly said that from the monetary and every other point of view they have been five glorious years’ for the miners.

The long-term view is bright and hopeful. The coal industry in Yorkshire is a developing and expanding factor, whereas most of the other coalfields have passed their peak. With a good, productive life of at least a century and a half before us we can now watch with confidence the unfolding of all those results for which we have patiently planned. In fact, reorganisation is already beginning to bear fruit. Young people can now enter mining with a good prospect of a secure and satisfying career with opportunities of advancement available to everybody.

“The year 1952 starts with some very good pointers for the mining industry, and not least important from the employees’ point of view is that it starts with a substantial increase in wages and a pensions scheme for all who  are wise enough to take advantage of it.

The pensions scheme has been one of my life’s ambitions and I urgently appeal to all workers in the industry to give the scheme their support. The provision of pithead baths will continue and by the end of 1953 I hope to see every mine in the coalfield equipped with this amenity. If I we can achieve the target of one million tons of saleable coal per week throughout the year 1952, I shall consider we are really making progress. That must be our ambition.

“In conclusion, let me wish all your readers and their families a happy and prosperous New Year—a Year in which all the qualities of industry, courage, loyalty, patience, mutual goodwill and forbearance are fully rewarded.”