HC Deb 16 October 1946 vol 427 cc869-70
2. Mr. Rees-Williams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the need for conciliation machinery and for the employment of persons skilled in industrial conciliation in British Malaya, he will set up a labour relations division in the Malayan Union and Singapore with the necessary small but expert staff.

Mr. Creech Jones

Conciliation machinery is provided by the Industrial Courts Enactments of 1940 and its operation is the responsibility of officers of the Labour Departments, who are trained in the languages and psychology of the local races and are skilled in local industrial conciliation. They are assisted in this task by experienced trade unionists from the United Kingdom, whose duties include the formulation of arrangements for the settlement of disputes by conciliation or arbitration, they also bring to the attention of officers of the Labour Departments any grievances of the workers which might impair labour relations on matters affecting conditions of employment. The present organisation thus covers much of the work of a Labour Relations Division, but the formal addition of such a division to the Labour Departments of the two territories may be found necessary before long.