Page:The British Coal Trade - Jevons.djvu/17

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



ment not to strike, the Coal Controller raised the price of coal by 6s. per ton for all retail and wholesale transactions—a measure which was extremely unpopular with the miners as well as the public. The demands of the miners for nationalisation of the coal mines, as a means towards realising better conditions of work and a higher standard of life, came to a head in 1919. The Sankey Commission, appointed towards the end of February, 1919, held that a case for nationalisation had been made out, and put forward a scheme. This, however, was rejected by Government, which in August put forward its own plan of uniting the privately-owned collieries in groups to be worked for private profit under strict Government control. This was rejected by the miners, on the ground that it would create huge "trusts" working for private profit, and also by the Labour movement as a whole of the Trade Union Congress held in Glasgow during September, 1919; and the demand for the nationalisation of the mines with joint control was reiterated. At the time of writing, it is clear that some practical scheme for the nationalisation of mines must receive very careful consideration by Government and by Parliament at no distant date.

In conclusion, there are some further acknowledgements to be made for assistance which I received in preparing this book. The original manuscript was scarcely completed for first printing by the time I sailed for India in 1914 to take up my appointment in Allahabad. As a result it fell to Mr. Edgar L. Chappell, now Housing Inspector in the Ministry of Health, to complete some of the chapters, provide