§ 41 and 42. Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is aware that the course he took a fortnight ago with regard to the Coal Porters Union has had no effect whatever upon getting the carmen and loaders at the coal wharves to work; whether he proposes to compel these men to do their duty or to supply other labour for loading and taking coals to private houses; and (2) whether he is aware that on one day last week no carmen or loaders at important wharves of the Midland, London and North-Western, and Metropolitan Railways were at work, the excuse being that the weather was too wet; that the output of these wharves is about 200 tons daily; and will he say how he proposes to meet the inconvenience caused to private individuals by the refusal of carmen and loaders to work?
The whole subject of distribution in London is now receiving the attention of the Controller of Coal Mines, who is in consultation with the merchants and with the men's organisations. The importance of the question is fully realised, and every effort will be made to reduce absenteeism as far as possible.
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
Arising out of that reply, did not the hon. Gentleman tell me three weeks ago that he had placed the matter in the hands of the Coal Porters' Union? My question to-day is whether he is aware that the action he took then has had no effect whatever in obtaining the men to get the coal?
My information does not exactly accord with that of the hon. Gentleman. I understand that a vast improvement has taken place, and the attention of the Controller is specially directed to the matter.