HC Deb 11 May 1938 vol 335 c1570
38. Mr. Lunn

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he can make any statement on the disagreement in the Trinidad oil industry and on the submission of the question of an increase in wages to arbitration; and, in particular, how the board of arbitration will be composed?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The employers and employed in the Trinidad oil industry nave agreed in principle to refer the present wages dispute to arbitration, and legislation has now been enacted by the Government of Trinidad whereby any such dispute may be referred to an arbitration tribunal to be set up by the Governor at the request and with the consent of the parties concerned. My Noble Friend has not yet seen the Bill, but it is understood that the tribunal may consist either of a single arbitrator, or of an arbitrator assisted by such assessors or other arbitrators as may be nominated by the parties to the dispute. It is contemplated that in this case the arbitrator (or chairman, if there is a panel) should be selected from the United Kingdom. My Noble Friend still awaits information from the Acting-Governor as to the proposed terms of reference to the arbitrator.

Mr. Lunn

As there are such horrible conditions existing in Trinidad, will the Colonial Office speed up the appointment of the arbitrator or arbitrators, in order to settle this matter? Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Government to do something?

Mr. MacDonald

We shall get the appointment made as soon as possible.