HC Deb 15 December 1925 vol 189 cc1164-6
10. Lieut.-Commander KENW0RTHY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can make any statement with reference to the dispute between certain shipping companies and the wireless operators; and whether any steps are being taken to end it?


My Department is having a further meeting to-day with the Association of Wireless and Cable Telegraphists, but I am not able at present to say whether any progress can be made towards a settlement of the dispute.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Has the hon. Gentleman also been in touch with the shipping companies, and, if so, with what results?


I do not think that arises out of this question, but in view of the fact that the House is rising shortly, it is entitled to have all the information at its disposal before we separate. Perhaps the hon. Member will repeat the question before the House rises.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

The question I asked was whether any steps are being taken and I think the point does arise as to whether the shipping companies have also been seen by the hon. Gentleman.

12. Mr. HAYES

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that fully-qualified wireless operators are available at rates of pay in force prior to the 1st December; that certain shipowners are taking advantage of the waiving of the Regulations not to pay those rates, and that shipowners now paying those rates are having no difficulty in obtaining fully-qualified wireless operators; and whether, in view of this fact, he will discontinue giving permission for the sailing of ships without wireless operators?


I am aware that some ships are paying the old rates and are unaffected by the dispute. As regards the ships which are affected by the dispute, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Hull Central (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) on the 30th November, of which I am sending him a copy.

Lieut. -Commander KENWORTHY

Has the right hon. Gentleman been in touch with the shipowners at all, in connection with the dispute?


As regards the dispute and the issues involved in it there are questions entirely for the Ministry of Labour, and the Board of Trade has never interfered in such matters. The duty of the Board of Trade is to be entirely impartial in any such dispute and to exercise its functions under the Merchant Shipping Act.


Does the right hon. Gentleman think it good policy to set aside all laws and Regulations when there happens to be a dispute?