HC Deb 18 November 1948 vol 458 cc560-1
47. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Labour what is his policy in regard to intervention in cases of industrial disputes; at what stage he intervenes in a situation that could result in an industrial dispute; and what policy is applied to prevent worsening relations between representative organisations when conditions give rise to differences.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

The assistance of my Department in resolving disputes is always readily available on the request of either or both parties concerned, and when disputes are apprehended my officers remind the parties of this. It is, however, my general policy not to intervene unless and until action by the parties under the established joint machinery for the industry has been exhausted.

Mr. Ellis Smith

When it is difficult for individuals to act on their own because of the peculiar circumstances in which they find themselves, although it is obvious that they have a legitimate grievance, could not the officers of the Ministry deal with the matter, which might give rise to a dispute?

Mr. Isaacs

We cannot deal with individual and personal disputes, but any dispute relating to an industry or a firm can be helped if the persons concerned will call upon the local employment officer.