HC Deb 24 November 1937 vol 329 cc1208-10
30. Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the economic disabilities of certain grades of the British Guiana Postal Service; and whether he will take immediate steps to ensure that a comprehensive and unprejudiced inquiry be held with a view to rectifying the disabilities in question?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The conditions of service of the subordinate staff of the Government of British Guiana, including those employed in the Postal Service, have been the subject of a recent local inquiry, and as the result of that inquiry I have approved proposals for improving the scales of pay of the employés concerned. The report also contained other recommendations for improving the conditions of service which are now under consideration. In the circumstances, I do not consider that any useful purpose would be served by a further inquiry of the nature suggested by the hon. Member.

31. Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the grave dissatisfaction existing among Government employés in British Guiana; whether he has any statement to make on the causes of recent withdrawals of labour; and whether he will take steps to secure a free and impartial investigation of workers' complaints?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The Governor of British Guiana has informed me that there is no evidence of serious dissatisfaction among Government employés in that Colony. Apart from the small strike of seamen employed by the Harbours Department in September last, which has been settled satisfactorily, some Post Office employés absented themselves from work for one day. As I have already stated in my reply to the hon. Member's previous question, the conditions of service of employés of this class have now been inquired into, and their scales of salaries have recently been improved.

Mr. Riley

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House any idea of what the scales are?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

Not without notice. Perhaps the hon. Member will put a question on the Paper, not for oral answer.

32. Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the recurring economic dislocations in British Guiana and following the precedent set up in Trinidad, he will consider the advisability of appointing a commissioner to carry out a comprehensive economic survey of British Guiana with adequate facilities for hearing workers' representations?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I would invite the hon. Member's attention to the reply which I returned to a question by the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Creech Jones) on 3rd November. Steps are now being taken to ensure the supervision of the conditions of employment in the Colony.

Mr. Lunn

Does that mean that there is to be a comprehensive inquiry into these matters?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

No; a labour inspector is being appointed.