HC Deb 13 November 1934 vol 293 c1746

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the number of people who have been dismissed to date by the White Star Line as a result of the merger with the Cunard Company; whether any compensation has been paid to all of them; and whether any conditions were imposed upon those companies by the Government to compensate those who would lose their employment when granting the subsidy for the completion of the "Queen Mary"?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

The merger of the Cunard and White Star North Atlantic fleets which rendered possible the resumption of work on the "Queen Mary," and thus secured a great volume of renewed employment, necessarily entailed some reduction of the establishments of the Oceanic and Cunard Companies. Ordinarily I should not of course be informed of administrative questions such as the hon. Member refers to, which are naturally matters for the Directors of the Company concerned. But it was in fact intimated to me during the negotiations which led up to the merger that the companies proposed, of their own initiative, to make arrangements for the payment of compensation in cases of loss of employment from this cause.