HC Deb 24 November 1938 vol 341 cc1919-20
6. Mr. J. Hall

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the Government of the United States of America has ratified five International Labour Office Conventions covering the regulation of working hours on merchant ships with the stipulation of an eight-hour day and the determining of the minimum manning scale to be operative during such working hours, the granting of paid holidays to seamen, the liability of shipowners when seamen are the victims of sickness, injury, or death, the minimum standards of professional capacity required of masters and officers of merchant ships, and the fixing of the minimum age for the admission of children to employment at sea, revised 1936; what other countries have ratified these conventions; and whether it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to accord similar ratification at an early date?

Mr. E. Brown

With the hon. Member's permission I propose to circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table showing the countries which have ratified each of these Conventions. With regard to the last part of the question, the decisions of His Majesty's Government were set out in a White Paper (Cmd. 5745) published in May last of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

Mr. Hall

Is the Minister aware that quite a number of countries have ratified this Convention, and is he satisfied that this country should lag behind them?

Mr. Brown

I think that would be an unfair inference from the facts. The

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Member will look at the answer and then consider what steps he thinks we might take.

Following is the reply:

White Paper gives the reasons. If any questions are asked about policy, they ought to be addressed to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Following is the table:

Convention. Ratified by.
Officers' Competency Certificates Convention, 1936. Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, New Zealand, Norway, U.S.A.
Holidays with Pay (Sea) Convention, 1936. Belgium, U.S.A.
Shipowners' Liability (Sick and Injured Seamen) Convention, 1936. Belgium, U.S.A.
Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1936. Australia, Belgium, U.S.A.
Minimum Age (Sea) Convention (Revised), 1936. Belgium, Brazil, Norway, U.S.A.