HC Deb 19 February 1947 vol 433 cc1172-3
46. Mr. Osborne

asked the Prime Minister, if he will make a special appeal to both workers and employers to suspend all restrictive practices and work longer hours for six months after the coal crisis ends, in order to make up the lost production.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

I have no doubt that, on full resumption of work, there will be a universal desire to make up for lost production, and I am quite confident that workers and employers can be relied on, in the country's interest, to take such steps as are necessary to this end. But each industry must be allowed to decide for itselt, having in mind its own special circumstances, how this is to be most speedily and efficiently accomplished.

Mr. Osborne

Is the Prime Minister aware that in North Lincolnshire quite recently—in fact, in the last few days—20 bricklayers employed by a Socialist peer have asked that all bonuses shall be stopped because the trade unions—

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member is not asking a question; he is making an imputation. as well as giving information.

Mr. Awbery

Would the right hon. Gentleman express the appreciation of this House to the miners, the dockers, and the railwaymen for their splendid efforts last weekend to help us out?

Mr. Osborne

On a point of Order. I hope that you will not think I am being impertinent, Mr. Speaker, but I should like to ask for your direction Surely, I am entitled to put this very important point that, in my own part of the country, the trade unions are not allowing the men to produce as much as they wish?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member is still asking the same question.

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot

Mr. Speaker, has it been laid down that it is an imputation upon anybody to say that he is a Socialist peer?

Mr. Speaker

I think hon. Members can answer that question for themselves.