HC Deb 10 February 1932 vol 261 cc858-9
Captain CROOKSHANK (by Private Notice)

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can make any statement on the dispute in the cotton industry?


I understand that of 22 mills affected by the strike notices 10 are completely stopped and three are partially stopped. Four mills have gone back to the old conditions. The number of operatives who have stopped work is between 4,000 and 5,000. I should like to take this opportunity of urging upon the parties the vital importance to the industry of finding an accommodation between their respective points of view. I am conscious of the great difficulties with which the negotiators are faced and of the patience with which discussions have been carried on. I should, of course, be happy to render any assistance possible but I am strongly of the opinion that, given the good will which the continued negotiations indicate, those engaged in the industry itself, with the aid of the technical knowledge available, are best fitted to settle working conditions and to rid the industry of that instability which, added to general trade difficulties, must in the long run be fatal to the well-being of both employers and operatives.


Is there any representative of the Ministry in connection with these negotiations?


We have this matter very closely under observation, but I may tell the hon. Gentleman that negotiations are at this moment still in progress, and I do not think it would be helpful, in fact it might be very mischievous, if I added anything to the answer which I have already given.