§ 18. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that there is a dispute at Messrs. Connolly's, Limited, cable manufacturers, Blackley Vale, Blackley, Manchester, because the firm refused to pay the proper standard rates of pay; if he can state whether the firm in question are Government contractors; if he is aware that the firm refused to submit the case to the Court of Arbitration as the men suggested; and if he will take action in the matter?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Sir Montague Barlow)
I am aware of this dispute. The answer to the, second and third parts of the question is in the affirmative. As my hon. Friend is aware, I cannot refer a case to arbitration except with the consent of both parties. My Department is doing its best to secure a satisfactory settlement in this matter.
§ Mr. THORNE
Does the hon. Gentleman recognise that, if there is no possible chance of getting a remedy through his Department or through the firm, there is only one alternative for the men to take?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
I am not responsible, I think, for that alternative, but I would suggest that there is another course, namely, that the Departments mainly concerned in this contract, and not the Ministry of Labour, should be consulted in the matter. They have all the knowledge and information, and I would suggest that application to them might be the proper course, at any rate, in the first instance.