HC Deb 10 December 1942 vol 385 cc1708-9
73. Mr. David Adams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the Palestine Government have imposed on the workers of that territory restrictions comprised in British war time legislation relating to trades disputes, man-power and wages stabilisation, but without issuing any order protecting the rights of the workers or for the amelioration of working conditions or the preservation of collective bargaining; and whether he will take steps to remedy these disabilities?

Mr. Emrys-Evans

I have been asked to reply. I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the Defence (Trade Disputes) Order, 1942, which was made under the Defence Regulations last December. So far as collective bargaining is concerned, it is my right hon. Friend's desire that this should be encouraged in all Colonial territories in every possible way. This desire is shared by the Palestine Government, and the order provides that when a trade dispute is reported to the District Commissioner, the District Commissioner shall endeavour to conciliate the parties by all means at his disposal, and shall for this purpose make use of any existing machinery for the settlement of disputes as may seem to him appropriate to this end. With regard to the remaining matters mentioned by my hon. Friend, the Palestine Government are fully alive to the desirability of the early introduction of fundamental labour legislation, and it is hoped that this will be prepared at an early date now that a Labour Department has been established.

Mr. Adams

Am I to understand that the same restrictions will be applied to the workers in Palestine under that Order as in this country?

Mr. Emrys-Evans

Yes, Sir.