HC Deb 11 May 1944 vol 399 cc2057-9
3. Mr. Mander

asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement with regard to the proceedings of the I.L.O. at Philadelphia.

Mr. Bevin

I am not in a position to make a statement at the present time.

Mr. Mander

Could not the right hon. Gentleman indicate the attitude of the Government to the Philadelphia Charter?

Mr. Bevin

I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that the Government cannot make a statement about a charter that they have only just heard about on the wireless.

Mr. Shinwell

While I appreciate that that is quite a proper position to take up, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will bear in mind that the statement issued on the radio yesterday was that the British Government's proposal in relation to social security was defeated by a large vote at the Conference? If that is so, is it possible to have the position clarified? Cannot my right hon. Friend make a statement at an early date?

Mr. Bevin

I will consult my colleagues. There is bound to be a Debate on the I.L.O. Conference when we have the full report. I should like to make this point clear, so that there should not be any misapprehension. The Government did not vote against social security. What they asked for, quite properly, was that the recommendations which had been advanced should be submitted to the Governments before the final vote, so that when we gave our final vote it would be with the intention of giving effect to it in our laws.

8. Mr. Leslie

asked the Minister of Labour if a report of the meetings and decisions of the I.L.O. at Philadelphia will be available in the Library of the House at an early date.

Mr. Bevin

I will arrange for a copy of the record of the Conference proceedings, which is published by the I.L.O., to be placed in the Library of the House as soon as it is received, but in present circumstances such a record is not likely to be available at any early date.

Mr. Leslie

Would it be possible to have more than one copy, because of the interest likely to be shown in it when we do get it?

Mr. Bevin

I will consider that question.

Mr. Edmund Harvey

Would my right hon. Friend consider issuing a White Paper, which would be available to the public, showing the decisions of the Conference, and any decisions ensuing on them by His Majesty's Government?

Mr. Bevin

I should have thought the House had nearly had a surfeit of White Papers. I assumed that there would be a Debate on the proceedings sooner or later.