HC Deb 13 May 1925 vol 183 cc1842-3
44. Mr. DALTON

asked the Minister of Labour whether the stoppage of work at the Cement Works, Shepreth, Cambridgeshire, is still continuing; how long this stoppage has now lasted; whether he is aware that the company concerned stands outside the Whitley Council of the cement industry and refuses to pay the rate of wages agreed upon by the Council; that the men have offered arbitration; that the company has refused either to arbitrate or to discuss the points at issue with the men's trade union representatives; and whether he has taken, or proposes to take, any further steps to facilitate a settlement

49. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that a dispute has been going on for nine weeks at the East Anglian Cement Company, Shepreth, Cambridgeshire; that the cause of this is the firm refusing to pay the recognised rates of wages decided upon by the National Joint Industrial Council for the cement industry; and that repeated offers have been made by the men to submit the matter to arbitration, which the company has refused; and whether he will order a public inquiry into the matter


The facts are substantially as stated by the hon. Members. My Department have been in constant touch with both sides, and their services will remain available for the pur- pose of assisting in reaching a settlement if the parties desire to utilise them. I do not. think that any useful purpose would be served by a public inquiry.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware on more than one occasion efforts have been made to arrive at an amicable settlement, and that the cause of the dispute is the burning question of not carrying out the wages agreed upon by the Joint Industrial Council; and is he not prepared to institute an inquiry in accordance with his powers under the Industrial Courts Act?


I am not prepared to agree that an inquiry, in the present. circumstances, would do any good. If it. would do any good it would be a different matter, but, as circumstances arc. I do not think it would


Will the right hon. Gentleman receive further representations upon this matter, which is causing very serious concern in very wide circles in the Cambridge district, quite apart from any political views


I shall always be very anxious to receive any further: information

77. Mr. W.THORNE

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the Government has a contract with the East Anglian Cement Company, Shepreth, Cambridgeshire: and whether he is aware that the firm in question refuses to pay the recognised rates of wages decided upon by the National Joint, Industrial Council for the Cement Industry?


I have been asked to reply. This company holds a small contract from the War Department, but no complaint has been received in regard to wages paid under it. If the hon. Member will furnish me with any information to show that less than current rates have been paid, I will have the matter inquired into


I will, with pleasure