HC Deb 28 February 1918 vol 103 cc1554-5
69. Mr. SUTTON

asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been called to correspondence between the Priority Department and the Amalgamated Society of Shuttlemakers; whether he s aware that the masters' association have refused to agree to arbitration on an application for an increase of wages, which has resulted in a stoppage of work; that one firm, Messrs. Kirk and Company, Black burn, have conceded the application; that the bulk of this firm's output is designed for export, being of no use in the Lancashire cotton industry; that Messrs. Kirk have been informed that further export' prohibited in order to ensure that the supply of shuttles is available for this country while the output is restricted; that this decision is practically penalising Messrs. Kirk and their workpeople to the advantage of the masters' association; an I whether, in view of the fact that the firm have expressed their willingness to meet any home demands, this embargo upon export will be removed, thus enabling the firm to continue their business and avoid from 80 to 90 percent. of their workpeople being thrown out of work?


Upon the receipt of information of a probable strike of shuttle-makers it became necessary to prohibit the export of shuttles from this country, so as to safeguard the textile industry engaged upon war production from a shortage in the supply of shuttles. This suspension of export was a temporary measure of general application affecting all firms alike. There was no discrimination in the case of Messrs. Kirk and Company, and the temporary suspension of shipment did not, so far as I am aware, affect continuity of manufacture on the part of this firm. I understand that the strike is now over, and that the prohibition of export has been removed, as from Monday last, 25th February.