21. Vice-Admiral Taylor
asked the Minister of Labour what action the Government are taking with regard to the seaman's welfare in ports recommendations, adopted by the International Labour Conference at Geneva in October, 1936, and accepted by the Government in March, 1938?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I have decided to make an inquiry into the arrangements in certain of the principal ports in order to have first-hand information of the present position. Officers of the Board of Trade will co-operate with officers of my Department in this inquiry.
Is the Minister aware of the importance of this matter, in view of the fact that foreign nations look to us as the greatest maritime country in the world to set an example; and is he also aware that for all practical purposes not one single port in the United Kingdom is doing anything in this matter except the Port of London; and is he also aware that the Port of London—
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I have had only one other question to the Minister.
On a point of Order. I happen to be chairman of the London Welfare Council, and I am very anxious about this matter.
§ Mr. Brown
I will answer if the hon. and gallant Member will give me an opportunity. He must realise that I understand the importance of this subject, seeing that I set on foot the inquiry. I should not like to be as critical of other ports as he seems to be. I have no objection to his praising London, but there are efforts being made in other ports. We will do our best to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion as soon as we can.
I can provide information regarding the other ports to show that they are not doing much.