2 JANUARY 1932, Page 7

The Miner's Hours

A conference is to be held at Geneva on Thursday at the request of the British Government to try to secure the simultaneous application by the coal-producing countries of Europe of the convention on hours in mines approved by the International Labour Conference last June. By that measure coal-mine hours were fixed at what, by the British method of computation, is 71 hours a day, as against the 71 hours worked in this country under the temporary legislation in force at present. To get a 71- hour day generally adopted would be to avert an inevitable controversy in the British coal-fields when the existing legislation expires in July, and, what is still more important, it would level up conditions internationally in one field in which international com- petition is particularly fierce. But since it means persuading seven European Governments, including the French, German, Polish and Czechoslovakian, to do the same thing at the same moment a good deal of negotiation may be necessary yet.

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