HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2056-7
39. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the principle of fair conditions of labour can be applied to all contracts for public works made by the Government in Palestine?

Mr. M. MacDonald

It is the declared policy of the Government of Palestine to ensure fair conditions of labour on Government works, and various safeguards have been provided by means of legislation. I doubt whether any useful purpose would be served by the adoption of the hon. Member's suggestion, but if he has any specific difficulty in mind I will gladly ask the High Commissioner to investigate the matter.

Mr. Creech Jones

Do the public works now being carried out by the War Department come under the jurisdiction of the right hon. Gentleman, and, if not, will he make representations to his right hon. Friend that stipulations regarding conditions of employment should be included in the contracts?

Mr. MacDonald

I will look into that point.

Mr. T. Williams

What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by "fair conditions"?

Mr. MacDonald

I was not aware what the hon. Member meant by it. It is a very general term. In our legislation we provide for conditions of a specific kind but it would take me too long in answer to this Question to outline the position.