HC Deb 01 December 1938 vol 342 cc561-2
1. Mr. James Hall

asked the Minister of Labour whether the International Labour Office has presented its report on the Application of the Marking of Weight (Packages Transported by Vessels) Convention, 1929, what were the nature of its conclusions; and whether His Majesty's Government are now prepared to ratify the convention as 35 other Governments have done already?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)

The governing body of the International Labour Office at its recent session in London considered a report on the technical difficulties in regard to the application of this convention. The decision reached was that consideration of the question should be adjourned pending further inquiries which are being made by the International Labour Office. In these circumstances the position of His Majesty's Government in regard to ratification of the convention remains as stated in the White Paper (Cmd. 5745) issued in May of this year.

Mr. Hall

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these technical difficulties only arose in one country out of 35 countries that have ratified the convention? Is it not a fact that when the convention was agreed upon it was also agreed that it was necessary for the success of this piece of work that all the countries concerned should adopt the convention? Is it not right that this country should keep in line with other countries that have ratified it?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Member is not justified in his statement. The very fact that the governing body itself could come to no conclusion, but found that there was such a technical difficulty that it had to adjourn the discussion, shows that the difficulties are formidable.

Mr. Hall

Is it not true that it was only one country, Belgium, that experienced any difficulty in regard to the convention?

Mr. Brown

That may be so, but every country which is a member of the International Labour organisation surely has the right to have its difficulties recognised, if an attempt is to be made for international action.

Mr. Leach

Can the right hon. Gentleman not try to get over his repugnance to ratifying conventions?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Member is obviously not aware that, apart from two countries, Spain and one other, this country has ratified more conventions than any other country inside the International Organisation.

Forward to