11 JULY 1908, Page 2

On Monday the Commons debated the Miners' Eight Hours Bill.

Mr. F. E. Smith said that originally the demand for an eight-hours day was made in order to limit the output, and consequently raise wages, and when this alarmed the con- sumers it was contended that an eight-hours day would reduce unemployment. This argument was in turn abandoned, and the argument for the measure now was on the ground of safety and health,—an argument which had been shattered by the Report of the Departmental Committee. As for the suggestion that the miners would work in double shifts to prevent a reduction of output, the debate disclosed no evidence that they would do so, but there were many assertions that they would not. We note that Mr. Markham, who has expert know- ledge, thought that the price of coal per ton would be increased by one shilling in South Wales, and by threepence or sixpence in the Midlands.