§ In the case of a trade dispute in the industry of agriculture, the persons forming the standing Industrial Court shall be appointed, and all steps taken under this Act by the Minister of Labour acting in agreement with the President of the Board of Agriculture.—[Captain Falcon.]
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Captain FALCON
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."
This Clause, which stands in the name of my hon. Friend (Mr. Cautley) is to make provision for disputes that arise in the 454 agricultural industry. The agricultural industry differs pretty widely from other industries and it has many special conditions which are not common to other industries. In cases of dispute, therefore, in the agricultural industry it is most important that those who are sitting on the Court should be conversant with that particular industry. At the present time the Board of Agriculture, I believe, does send down commissioners in cases where disputes arise, and this has proved to be successful. In the Bill as it stands now the Board of Agriculture is not able in any 455 way to act. It is most essential that the Board of Agriculture in an agricultural matter should represent both the agricultural labourer and the farmer, and that it should act in agreement with the Minister of Labour. This difficulty would be overcome if this Clause is adopted.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I cannot accept the Amendment in the shape in which it has been moved. I quite recognise that agriculture does stand in a separate position, seeing that there is a Government Department whose whole concern is that of agriculture. It is important that that Department, which necessarily has a very much greater knowledge of all the conditions of agriculture than any other Department can have, should take a permanent part in dealing with agricultural disputes. It would be entirely wrong if we neglected to take advantage of the special experience and knowledge which the Board of Agriculture have in that respect. While I cannot accept this Amendment, I should be prepared to agree to an Amendment in this form:In the case of a trade dispute in the industry of agriculture steps to be taken under this
|Provisions continued in force.||Modifications.|
|S. 1 (Obligation to pay prescribed rates of wages)||As from the commencement of this Act a reference to an award of the Industrial Court shall, without prejudice to anything done before the commencement of this Act, be substituted for the reference to an award of the Interim Court of Arbitration.|
|Subs. (2) of s. 2 (Settlement of differences)||As from the commencement of this Act matters instead of being referred for settlement as provided in subs. (2) shall be referred to the Industrial Court.|
|The words "or as to whether any rate shall be substituted for the prescribed rate" shall cease to have effect, and the proviso to subs. 2 shall not apply.|
|S. 3 (Powers of inquiry)||…||…||…||—|
|S. 4 (Definition of prescribed rates of wages)||—|
|S. 5 (Legal proceedings)||…||…||…||—|
Amendments made: In paragraph relating to Section 1 (Obligation to pay prescribed rates of wages), leave out the words "a reference to an award of the," and insert instead thereof the words
the power to substitute any enforceable rate for the prescribed rate shall cease, without prejudice, however, to the enforceability of any rate substituted for the prescribed rate, before the commencement of this Act, whether the substituted rate has or has not come into operation before that date, and without prejudice to the enforceability of any rate substituted for the prescribed rate by an award of the Industrial Court under Part III. of this Act."—[Sir R. Horne.]
Act by the Minister of Labour shall be taken in consultation with the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries.
§ It is perfectly plain that any Minister of Labour would be very foolish if he did not take advantage of the special knowledge and experience of the Board of Agriculture when disputes arise in the agricultural industry. Accordingly, I would be prepared to accept an Amendment in the terms I have suggested if my hon. Friend would agree to modify his Amendment in consonance with what I have said.
§ Captain FALCON
I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, and I beg leave to withdraw this Clause in order that a Clause may be moved in the terms, outlined by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.