31. Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the national agreement entered into on 9th April, 1921, between the National Federation of Building Trade Employers and the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives provides that, before any stoppage of work can take place, six calendar months' notice has to be given to terminate that agreement; and will he draw the attention of the parties concerned to clause 18 of that agreement?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to his question on the 15th March. In the present circumstances I do not think that it is desirable for me to make any further statement. I still hope, however, that means may be found for avoiding a stoppage of work in this industry.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the reply to which he has referred he did not answer the question which is put here, whether the agreement provides that before a stoppage takes place six months' notice has to be given?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
The hon. Member is quite well aware what the printed terms of the agreement are. What the precise effect of the agreement is, is, of course, one of the matters in discussion.
Cannot the right hon. Gentleman give us any information in view of the very serious effect it will have on house building if a stoppage takes place?
§ Mr. J. JONES
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the agreement is based upon six months' notice on a cost of living basis and that the employers are now demanding a reduction over and above that which they were entitled to according to the agreement, and they are not giving 2540 notice, but at the end of this month they are going to lock the men out, so the men will be compelled to cease work in defiance of the agreement.