HC Deb 12 April 1937 vol 322 cc615-6
65. Mr. Stephen

asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence whether his attention has been called to the industrial dispute at Parkhead Forge, Glasgow; whether this dispute is holding up the production of Government work; and whether he has considered whether the action of the employers in refusing the request for an increase of wages is resulting in a contravention of his assurance that workers would receive adequate wages for work on the new programme?

Sir T. Inskip

I am aware of the circumstances of the dispute and am satisfied that it is in the interests of the workers in the industry generally and also in the interests of the Defence programme that changes in wages should be discussed and settled in accordance with the constitutional joint procedure. I hope therefore that the hon. Member will use his influence to persuade the workers concerned to be guided by the advice given to them by the organisation, of which they are members.

Mr. Stephen

Is the Minister aware that the local district committee of the organisation is backing the men and is he also aware that this firm, when they were in negotiation, joined the Federation in order to try to prevent a settlement being arrived at at an early date?

Sir T. Inskip

Those are different questions, but even though the hon. Gentleman's statements be correct, they do not affect my suggestion that the organisation of which the men are members should have given the advice and that it should be accepted.

Mr. McGovern

You had better come down and give it to them. They will chase you.

Mr. Maxton

You give some advice to the employers.

78. Mr. Stephen

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has now decided to take any steps to bring about negotiations between the employers at Parkhead Forge, Glasgow, and the engineers who are on strike to secure a satisfactory settlement of the dispute?

Sir James Blindell (Lord of the Treasury)

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for the Shettleston Division (Mr. McGovern) on 8th April, to which he has nothing to add.

Mr. Stephen

Will the hon. Gentleman convey to the Minister the need for action, in view of the very hard circumstances of the people concerned?

Sir J. Blindell

I will convey the hon. Member's observation to my right hon. Friend.