HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 cc1331-2
5. Mr. Platts-Mills

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why he was not consulted by the Governor of Malaya in connection with the decision to outlaw the Pan-Malayan Federation of Trade Unions, the nine State Federations of Trade Unions and the Trengganu General Labour Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Creech Jones

There was no occasion to consult me. These bodies do not comply with the requirements of the Trade Unions law of the Federation of Malaya. On application for registration they have not been registered because of this. They are consequently deemed by law to be unlawful associations but they have the right of appeal within 30 days against the refusal of the Registrar of Trade Unions, in the first instance to the Chief Secretary and in the second to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Platts-Mills

Will my right hon. Friend now take us to the next stage and resist any plea by the Governor to obtain powers to deport British citizens who are the leading figures in these trade unions, knowing as he does that the object of the Governor is to send these proposed deportees to that small part of China still governed by Chiang Kai-shek where the will be executed?

Mr. Creech Jones

That is an entirely different matter; the Question is concerned with the registration of the Federation

Mr. Gallacher

But is it not the case that the big rubber planters and tin monopolies are responsible for the suppression of the trade unions, and that they feel they can do anything now that there is a Labour Government in office?

Mr. Creech Jones

There is no suppression of trade unions at all. This is an application for registration of federation, and all that is asked is that the law shall be complied with.

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