§ 60 and 61. Mr. ELLIS DAVIES
asked (1) the Minister of Munitions whether the Silurian Iron Ore Company, Bangor, North Wales, is under the control of the Department; whether the mine is now idle because the company, following the arbitrator's award granting the men an increased wage, paid off the men on the plea of want of railway facilities and subsequently offered to take only a portion of them back; whether he will make an inquiry into the circumstances; (2) the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the dispute between the Silurian Iron Ore Company, of Bangor, and their workmen; whether he is aware that the arbitrator appointed by the Government awarded the men an increase of wages, that on receipt of the award the company dismissed the workmen on the 218 plea of want of trucks, but subsequently offered to take some only of the men back; whether he is aware that the mine is still idle and some of the men have been called up for military service; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Bridgeman)
The Silurian Iron Ore Company, Limited, is not under the control of the Ministry of Munitions. I am aware that an arbitrator, appointed by the Chief Industrial Commissioner, issued an award on 31st August, giving an advance of wages to the workpeople employed by this firm. Subsequently one of the two mines operated by the company was brought to a standstill, the firm giving as their reason their inability to find a market for the output. In October they intimated that, having meanwhile found a market, they were prepared to take back as many men as possible; but it appears that the work-people insisted on the whole number being taken on. The Chief Industrial Commissioner is in communication with the parties with a view to endeavouring to arrange a settlement of the difficulty. I have no information regarding the men being called up for military service.