Transcript

Labour unrest: coal miners' strike, 1919
Catalogue reference: HO 144/1534/387000/11


SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE BRANCH.
THE COAL SITUATION.

SPECIAL DAILY REPORT.

11.a.m. - 24th July, 1919.

PART ONE.

SUMMARY OF POSITION TO MIDNIGHT 23rd July 1919.


YORKSHIRE. Position in both West and South Yorkshire is reported quiet with no prospect of disturbance or riot at present. In the bulk of the pits in both districts the work of pumping is being carried on by volunteers (such as colliery officials) and naval ratings. Sir Eric Geddes is arranging to meet Mr. Herbert Smith to discuss the return of the proper pump hands to duty; and winding enginemen and pump-men of three colleries (sic) have resumed work to-day. The total number of naval ratings now employed is 158; and it is reported that winding enginemen and pump-men are contemplating a return to work in several districts to prevent naval ratings being sent. Six pits are flooded, and it is expected that four others will be flooded in the course of to-day. The hardship caused by the Coal Strike is increased by a Strike of the Co-operative Shop Employees which has extended to Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
DERBYSHIRE. The number now onstrike (sic) is variously estimated at 25,000 (DAILY HERALD and DAILY TELEGRAPH) and 45,000 (DAILY EXPRESS). The Miners' leaders have appealed to the men to resume work. All the pits in South Derbyshire are still working. Pumping has been stopped at two pits and naval ratings have been sent.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE. The total number on strike in the county is stated to be about 20,000 including 15,000 in the Mansfield area. Pits were closed yesterday at Sherwood, Babbington, Wollston, and Bradford involving a further 3750 men.
STAFFORDSHIRE. Men are out at the Midland Coal, Coke and Iron Company's pits, also at Silverdale New Hem Heath and Parahouse; and further trouble is expected. Three pits are idle at Cannock Chase through insufficient surface-men turning up to work. Men have also been brought out at Bignall Hill. But safety men are being allowed to remain at work.
NORTHUMBERLAND and DURHAM.
Dinnington and Stobswood and Allendale Collieries and in Northumberland have been standing idle since morning on a dispute as to the application of the Sankey Award on Hours. In county Durham following collieries idle on similar dispute:- Mainforth, Bear Park, Claravale, Westpelton, Alma Twisell, Handon, Holt, Craghead, Dandon, Adelaide and Langley Park.
LANCASHIRE and
CHESHIRE and
NORTH WALES.
Pits are still idle at Burnley where 3000 miners are and out against the 6/- rise. No change in the position at Wigan. where 8,000 are idle owing to piece-rate dispute. 1,000 are on strike in the Bolton area. All pits in Cheshire and North Wales are working.
SOUTH WALES. Nine collieries are idle owing to dispute as to alteration of hours; involving 6,920 men. Two Lewis Merthyr pits are stopped over reinstatement of a roadmen (sic), involving 3,900 men. Two pits are on strike as protest against intervention in Russia; one pit as a protest against the 6/- increase; and one pit owing to shortage of wagons.
Total idle in the coalfield – 11,870.
Later:– All pits have resumed work except Lewis Merthyr and one other (Acorn).
KENT. The strike at three pits continues, but the threat to call out the pumpmen has not been carried out. The owners are making enquiries about naval ratings in case of necessity.
SCOTLAND. The majority of the collieries are working normally. This week is an annual holiday in most of the Districts; but 2700 men are on strike in Fife on the seven hours question.


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