HC Deb 12 April 1937 vol 322 cc619-20
79. Mr. Thorne

asked the Minister of Labour what were the instructions given to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry in connection with the 40-hour week for the textile industry at the Washington Conference?

Sir J. Blindell

I have been asked to reply. These instructions were in accordance with the policy of His Majesty's Government, which is to assist in every possible way in the examination of the facts in the various countries in order to see whether it is practicable to reach any international arrangement on the subject to which the hon. Member refers. I may add that it is accepted by His Majesty's Government that the textile trade unions in this country are not prepared to agree to the reduction of hours except on the condition that wages are not reduced, and it was necessary, therefore, to make this position clear to the Conference.

Mr. Thorne

Can we be told what the instructions were? If not, I propose to put another question down for Thursday, in order to get a proper answer.

Sir J. Blindell

If the hon. Member desires any further information, perhaps he will put a question down.