National Coal Strike – Coal Peace Plan

May 1926


.Mexborough and Swinton Times, May 14, 1926

Coal Peace.
Sir Herbert Samuel’s Plan.

The following is the formula prepared by Sir. Herbert Samuel and accepted by the T.U.C. as a reasonable basis for the settlement of the mining dispute.

  1. The negotiations upon the conditions of the coal industry should be resumed, the subsidy being renewed for such reasonable period as may be required for that purpose.
  2. Any ‘negotiations are unlikely to be successful.A national wages board should therefore be established which would include representatives of those parties with a neutral element and an independent chairman.
  3. The proposals in this direction, tentatively made in the Report of the Royal Commission, should be pressed, and the powers of the proposal Board enlarged.
  4. Unless they provide for means of settling disputes in the industry other than conferences between the mine owners and the miners alone.
  5. The parties to the Board should be entitled to raise before it any points they consider relevant to the issue under discussion, and the Board should be required to take such points into consideration,
  6. There should be no revision of the previous wage rates unless there are sufficient assurances that the measures of the reorganisation proposed by the commission will be effectively adopted.
  7. A Committee should be established, as proposed by the Prime Minister, on which representatives of the man should be included, whose duty it should be to cooperate with the Government in the preparation of the legislative and administrative measures that are required. The same Committee or alternatively the national wages board should assure itself that the necessary steps so far as they relate to matters within the industry are not being neglected or unduly-postponed.
  8. After these points have been agreed and the Mines National Wages Board has considered every practicable means, of meeting such immediate financial difficulties as exist, it may, if that course is found to be absolutely necessary, proceed to the preparation of a wage agreement.
  9. Any such agreement should.(2) Not adversely affect in any way the wages of the lowest paid men.(4) In the event of any new adjustment being made should provide for the revision of such adjustments by the Wages Board from time to time if the facts warrant that course.
  10. (3) Fix reasonable figures below which the wage of no class of labour for the normal customary week’s work should be reduced in any circumstances.
  11. (1) If practicable, be on simpler lines than those hitherto followed.
  12. Measures should be adopted to prevent the recruitment of new workers over the age of eighteen years into the industry if unemployed miners are available.
  13. Workers who are displaced as a consequence of the closing of uneconomic collieries should be provided for by.(b) The maintenance, for such period as may be fixed, of those who cannot be so transferred, and for whom alternative employment cannot be found, this maintenance to comprise an addition to the existing rate of unemployment pay under the Unemployment Insurance Act, of such amount as may be agreed. A contribution should be made by the Treasury to cover the additional sums so disbursed.There is every probability that, when negotiations on the mining dispute are resumed, the formula of Sir Herbert Samuel will be the basis utilised.
  14. (c) The rapid construction of new houses to accommodate transferred workers. The Trades Union Congress will facilitate this by consultation and co-operation with all those who are concerned.
  15. (a) The transfer of such men as may be mobile with the Government assistance that may be required as recommended in the report of the Royal Commission.