HC Deb 25 November 1947 vol 444 cc1762-4
5. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour how many working hours have been lost through unofficial strikes during the two years, October 1945–47; which are the main industries that are affected; and how these figures compare with the years 1919–20.

Mr. Isaacs

As the reply includes a table of figures, I will, if I may, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Osborne

Is the Minister satisfied that his Department cannot act more quickly and so save a local dispute from growing into a big national affair?

Mr. Isaacs

I have the weekly reports of the industrial relations officers, and I think the Ministry act as quickly as possible. It is also fair to say that, although we get an unnecessary number of unofficial disputes, the number of such disputes which are stopped by the prompt action of trade union officials is very high indeed.

Following is the reply:

Statistics are not available as to the number of working hours lost by disputes, but the Table below shows the number of working days lost by all stoppages of work due to disputes during the periods in question, distinguishing the principal industries. The information available does not enable a distinction to be made between official and unofficial stoppages.

Industry. Two years October 1945 to September 1947 Calendar years 1919 and 1920
Mining and Quarrying 1,284,000 25,221,000
Metal, Engineering and Shipbuilding 1,607,000 15,662,000
Textile 56,000 9,603,000
Clothing 181,000 966,000
Building 43,000 1,180,000
Transport 1,851,000 4,749,000
Other 547,000 4,155,000
TOTAL 5,569,000 61,536,000
9. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Minister of Labour how many working days have been lost through strikes in the United Kingdom since V.E. Day; and how many days were lost through the same cause in a comparable period after Armistice Day, 1918.

Mr. Isaacs

The total number of days lost in industrial disputes since V.E. Day has been about 6½million. In the corresponding period after November, 1918, 89½ million days were lost.

Mr. Bartlett

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult his colleagues on the Front Bench to ensure that those figures are published as widely as possible overseas, to counteract the defeatist propaganda often carried on by British subjects?

Mr. Isaacs

I thank the hon. Member for that suggestion. We will follow it up.

18. Mr. Austin

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has been asked to intervene in the strike at Metro-Vickers, Trafford Park; and if he will make a statement on this matter.

Mr. Isaacs

The stoppage commenced on 17th November, and work was resumed on 19th November. I was not asked to intervene.