§ MR. HAWORTH (Manchester, S.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the recent dispute in the Lancashire cotton-spinning trade, which resulted in an extensive stoppage of machinery before the contending parties could settle their differences, he will consider the advisability of taking steps, by legislation or otherwise, to secure the adoption of an 536 automatic sliding-scale to regulate wages according to the state of trade, and so avoid strikes or lock-outs in the future in cases for which the Brooklands agreement has proved inadequate.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. CHURCHILL,) Dundee
I am deeply impressed with the urgent importance of this matter. While I am of opinion that neither employers nor employed would desire the establishment by law of an automatic sliding-scale to regulate wages and that both would prefer that questions respecting the setting up of such machinery for avoiding disputes should be decided in the main by the interests directly concerned, I can assure my hon. friend that the Board of Trade would be prepared to lend their best assistance, if desired, in the furtherance of negotiations between those interests. I propose to communicate with the various parties in this sense.