HC Deb 16 November 1939 vol 353 cc796-7
4. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Proofings, Limited, Middleton, Lancashire, have decided, after the employers had conducted a ballot of their employes, that trade union organisation shall not prevail in their factory; and whether, in view of the fact that this firm is doing sub-let contracts for Government Departments through several Manchester firms, he will take steps either to induce the firm in question to accept trade union organisation, or see to it that sub-let Government contracts are withdrawn from them?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware of the position to which the hon. Member refers. Discussions have taken place between the manager of the company and an officer of my Department but, as the hon. Member is aware, I have no authority to compel an employer to recognise a trade union. As regards the question of the position of the company in regard to Government contracts, this is a matter for the contracting Department concerned.

Mr. Davies

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the action of the employers in this case is contrary to the general understanding which exists between the trade unions and the employers in this country; and is it understood that I must put this question to some other Department?

Mr. Brown

That really is the case, because it is a question about a particular works undertaking Government contracts. Of course, if the hon. Gentleman cares to submit the particulars to me I shall be glad to see that they are transferred to the right quarter.