§ Mr. ERSKINE
(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Labour whether he can give the House any information as to the engineering lock-out; whether, in particular, the Government have suggested arbitration, and whether the proposal has been rejected by one of the contending parties?
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Dr. Macnamara)
As my hon. Friend will be aware, the efforts made last week to reach a settlement of this dispute were, unfortunately, not successful, and the lock-out has begun as far as the members of the Amalgamated Engineering Union are concerned. In the case of the other unions a ballot is in progress. I am, of 1981 course, continuing to keep in close touch with the progress of the dispute, but I do not think it is advisable that at this stage I should make any statement. I have not suggested arbitration.