31. Colonel Arthur Evans
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether he is aware of the incidents, of which full particulars have been sent him, where delay has arisen in the unloading of cargoes in a certain port, due in one case to the action of a shipping company who held up the discharge of a cargo of foodstuffs because immediate unloading would have involved work on Whitsun Monday and in another case to the dock labour refusing to work on the Tuesday after Whitsun unless they were paid time and a half; and, in view of the necessity for obviating congestion in our ports, whether he will inform the House what steps the Government are prepared to take to deal with such situations in the future?
§ Colonel Llewellin
I am aware that a small coasting vessel carrying 350 tons of sugar and 90 tons of beer was held up at 639 a certain port over the Whitsun holidays. It was not thought necessary to call upon dockers to forgo their Whitsun holiday in order to discharge this small cargo. It is true that on the Tuesday after Whitsun there was an unauthorised stoppage of work when certain men claimed for that day the holiday rates of pay which they would have earned had the ship worked over the Whitsun week-end. This incident is now closed, but I can assure my hon. Friend that action will be taken to prevent delay in unloading in any future case.