HC Deb 23 November 1939 vol 353 cc1374-5
11. Mr. Hicks

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any statement to make regarding the co-operation of His Majesty's Government with the International Labour Organisation having regard to the outbreak of war, and with particular reference to the budget of the organisation for 1940?

Mr. E. Brown

Yes, Sir. As has been stated by representatives of His Majesty's Government at meetings of the governing body of the International Labour Office on more than one occasion in the past year, the Government fully approve the decision reached by the governing body at its meeting in February, 1939, that, in the event of war, it should attempt to function as completely and efficiently as possible. Since the outbreak of war, there have been two meetings of the Emergency Committee of the governing body and a representative of the Government has travelled to Geneva to attend each of them. He has had the opportunity of reaffirming at those meetings the Government's intention of cooperating to the fullest extent possible in present circumstances with the organisation. There is being held at present in Havana the second regional conference of the American States members of the organisation and the Government's support of the organisation has been further demonstrated by the attendance of an observer at this conference. It follows, from what I have said, that, in the view of His Majesty's Government, it is important that funds should be available to enable the work of the organisation to continue on as effective a basis as possible, and it is their hope that all States members, as they themselves, will be prepared to do their part in this respect. The representative of His Majesty's Government on the fourth committee, which is meeting early in December to discuss the League budget, as a whole, including that of the I.L.O., will be instructed to bear in mind the importance of such considerations, with a view to overcoming such difficulties as may arise in the course of the coming year.