HC Deb 12 July 1923 vol 166 cc1565-6
54. Mr. BARNES

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the resentment shown by dock workers towards any further reduction in their standard of living and the grave social consequences involved when men engaged in an industry lose hope of improving their conditions, he will appoint a Select Committee to inquire into the conditions of labour prevailing in the ports of the United Kingdom, with special reference to the reorganisation and control which may be necessary to abolish or reduce the amount of casual labour and to provide a reasonable standard of living for those engaged in this vital national industry?


As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, certain recommendations with regard to the points to which he, refers were made by the Court of Inquiry presided over by Lord Shaw, and have since been the subject of discussion between the employers' and workers' organisations in the industry. I understand the position taken up by the employers is that they are prepared to consider the matter in relation to the general problem of dealing with unemployment in industry. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour will not lose sight of the matter, but I do not think the appointment of a Select Committee would assist towards the solution of the problem.


In view of the difficulty of the case, does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that this matter should be expedited, and that if necessary legislation should be introduced for the purpose of compelling employers to remove that difficulty?