HC Deb 11 November 1937 vol 328 cc1824-5
30. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can now report the result of his inquiries from the Scottish Bankers Association concerning the alleged victimisation of one of its members, Mr. A. I. McPherson, by the Union Bank of Scotland, Limited, for trade union activities; and whether he will cause investigation to be made into the attitude of the Scottish banks generally towards trade unionism?

Mr. E. Brown

I have received this week from the Secretary of the Scottish Bankers' Association a copy of a pamphlet concerning the case to which the hon. Member refers and a copy of "The Scottish Banker," containing an article by Mr. McPherson, criticising the Union Bank. These were sent for my information, and no request was made for my intervention in the matter. As regards the second part of the question, no such investigation is contemplated.

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the victimisation in this case as in many other directions at the present time, will not the right hon. Gentleman take steps to make an investigation into this and put an end to this victimisation?

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Member will send me information concerning his reasons for desiring an investigation, I shal be glad to consider it.

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the principle of collective bargaining is for all classes of employment and has a widespread support in all sections of the House?

Mr. Brown

Yes, Sir, and it has had it from the Government of the day, which has shown it in these recent years, but, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, I have no power in this matter; I can only exercise such friendly offices as I think may produce useful results.

Mr. Maxton

Since this bank perform services for the right hon. Gentleman's Ministry, will he take steps to inquire and see whether, as employers, they are giving the good conditions that are expected of those firms which are performing services for the Government?

Mr. Brown

I have had no request at all from the union officers for any action on my part.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the right hon. Gentleman not make inquiries into the attitude of this bank towards trade unionism? If so, he will find out that it is the same vicious attitude as is employed by Imperial Airways.

Mr. Brown

I have already invited the hon. Member to provide me with his reasons for my doing that and told him that I shall be glad to consider them if he will put them before me.

Mr. Stephen

In view of the fact—

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

I do not know whether the hon. Member is aware that we have over 140 Questions on the Paper.

Mr. Stephen

I desire to give notice— surely I am entitled to do this—that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment.