HC Deb 27 June 1918 vol 107 cc1208-9

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Service whether he is aware that the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives affirm that 50 per cent. of their male members have now been enrolled, and that the manner in which it is proposed to deal with calls for service upon the remainder is so resented by the men that a strike is threatened; and will he say what steps it is proposed to take to avert such trouble?

67 and 68. Mr. RENDALL

asked the Minister of National Service (1) whether he intends to issue his contemplated Order to take the pivotal men engaged in the boot and shoe industry; if so, what does he propose to do to allay the feeling of revolt which the officials of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives say is likely to follow; does he still refuse to meet a deputation of employers and trade union representatives on the matter before he acts; (2) whether he is now prepared to meet the employers and workmen in the boot and shoe trade and consider with them the desirability of further drafts of men from this trade being provided by a special committee representing the trade instead of by official orders which gravely jeopardise the trade and irritate the workers?


A deputation was received at the Ministry of National Service this morning at which the points raised in the questions of my hon. Friends were discussed. I am happy to state that a satisfactory understanding was arrived at. An assurance was given that before any new Order was issued a further conference with the representatives of the employers and operatives would be arranged. There is, I understand, no dissatisfaction with the Order now in force.