§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Betterton)
The answer is in the negative. I have no power to waive the statutory requirement of a waiting period.
§ Mr. LUNN
The answer is hardly in the spirit of goodwill, but I should like to ask the hon. Gentleman if he is aware that in some districts the men were ordered back to work before an agreement was officially signed and in some others not until after an agreement was officially signed. At what period would the Department consider that the lock-out was officially terminated?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I do not at all dispute the hon. Member's premises. The answer to his question does not rest, with the Minister of Labour, but with the statutory authorities, first of all the insurance officer and ultimately the Umpire, and the Minister of Labour has no power to give any decision or even to offer an opinion on the matter.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
Does the hon. Gentleman realise the grave situation in which these men are placed?