HC Deb 12 May 1926 vol 195 cc877-9

May I ask the Prime Minister if he has any statement to make regarding the industrial situation?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

The Trades Union Council came to see me this morning, and told me that they had decided to call off the general strike forthwith. I said that it would be the immediate effort of myself and my colleagues to bring about a resumption of negotiations of the two parties in the mining industry, with a view to secure the earliest possible settlement. I can only add this at the moment. The peace that I believe has come—the victory that has been won, is a victory of the common sense, not of any one part of the country, but the common sense of the best part of the whole of the United Kingdom, and it is of the utmost importance at a moment like this that the whole British people should not look backwards, but forwards—that we should resume our work in a spirit of co-operation, putting behind us all malice and all vindictiveness.


Arising out of that statement, it must be quite obvious to the House that certain things are likely to happen, certain consequences from the statements are likely to happen to-day—the application for instance, of the large spirit that has been indicated in what has been said. I take it that it is in the interests of this House that it should be kept in close touch with the development of subsequent events. There are many questions we should like to put, there are some observations we should like to make, and I am perfectly certain that no hon. Members sitting behind me or by me desire in any way whatever to create a breach in the good feeling for which the Prime Minister has appealed. But he can do many things of a practical and detailed nature to promote that good feeling, and we should like to be perfectly certain that that is being done. That necessitates discussion. I hope the Prime Minister agrees with me that that is so. Has he considered the best time for a sort of survey of the situation and the making of a fuller statement which he knows must be made than that which he has been able to make now?


I quite recognise that a fuller statement will be necessary, and as early as possible, but I am quite sure the right hon. Gentleman is aware that there is a great deal to be done, a great many things to be thought out, and perhaps he will allow me to keep in touch with him, and settle something which will suit the general convenience of the House. I am sure the House will agree that it is impossible in the course of to-day.


I am glad to fall in with that suggestion. Much depends upon how the position is represented. The right hon. Gentleman knows how much it depends on how it is represented, and I appeal to him to make arrangements so that this House is kept in the closest touch with everything that is being done, and have this discussion at the earliest wise moment.