HC Deb 24 February 1891 vol 350 cc1503-4
(6.29.) MR. E. W. BECKETT (York, N.R., Whitby)

, who had upon the Paper the following Resolution:— That, in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that the Board of Trade should appoint a Standing Committee, as far as possible representative of the interests of Capital and Labour, whose duty it shall be to inquire into and report upon all strikes, lock-outs, and disputes of a public character between employers and the employed; that this Committee be authorised to arbitrate between the contending parties if requested by both sides to do so; and that it have power to appoint Sub-Committees to assist it in the performance of its duties, said: Sir, if any justification were needed for my not troubling the House with the Motion that I put upon the Paper four weeks ago, it is to be found in the announcement in the newspapers this morning of the decision of the Government to appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into the relation between capital and labour. The publication of their decision has, as it were, taken the wind out of my sails, but still the right thing has been done. I am not at all disposed to cavil or to complain because the decision has been announced in a way which discouraged the Debate which I wished to raise. Of course, under the circumstances, I do not feel justified in moving my Resolution but perhaps I may be allowed to console myself with the reflection that my Motion has helped to stimulate the Government to take action on the labour question. In conclusion, I should like to express the hope that the deliberations of the Commission will not be unduly prolonged, because I feel that the matters with which the Commission had to deal are pressing and acute and ought to be remedied without any loss of time.