HC Deb 15 June 1911 vol 26 cc1666-7

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received any definite reports as to the projected seamen's strike; and whether, seeing that any shortage of the supplies will cause distress to the poorest of the people, he can state what steps he is taking to prevent such a calamity?


The Board of Trade are keeping in touch with the progress of events.


Is it not the fact that the seamen's representatives approached the Shipping Federation with a view to some conciliatory measures being adopted and were met with a blank refusal?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)

Correspondence appears in the papers to-day including a letter from myself, as President of the Board of Trade, with reference to representations made to me by the seamen's and firemen's representatives and a large number of Members of Parliament asking the representatives of the shipowners whether they would be willing to assist in the creation of a conciliation board, but they did not see their way to do that for the moment, and that question remains in abeyance. That is the information in my possession; how far the Seamen's Union will make direct representations I am not aware, but I will do any thing. I can.


Will the right hon. Gentleman continue to urge his good advice upon the employers that they should accept arbitration?


I will do my best in regard to the matter, but I think you should not urge advice unless at a moment when you think it will be taken. I shall be very glad at any time to give the services of the Board of Trade, if I can see any way in which I can further the matter.