HC Deb 31 May 1945 vol 411 cc338-9
16. Mr. Walter Edwards

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that a dispute exists between the workpeople and the employers represented on the Joint Industrial Council for the coal distribution trade in Kent, Surrey and Sussex because of the low margins allowed by the Ministry of Fuel and Power; and will he take steps with the authorities concerned to prevent a stoppage of work.

Mr. Butler

I am aware that in declaring their inability to accede to a wage claim by the trade unions the employers have given the reason stated. As regards the second part of the Question, my Department has been in touch with the two sides on the matter and every effort will be made to assist towards an amicable settlement.

Mr. Edwards

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it wise to contact the Minister of Fuel and Power to see if the margins can be increased, in order that the wages laid down as a result of agreement can be paid to the men concerned?

Mr. Butler

It must be taken that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power has had regard to all the relevant facts in fixing these margins.