HC Deb 10 February 1949 vol 461 cc530-1
48. Mr. Thomas Brown

asked the Minister of labour if any representative from his Department attended the three days' conference held at Geneva on 31st January, 1949, to consider a model safety code for underground work in coal mines, which conference was attended by representatives from Belgium, Canada, France, India, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.S.A.; and whether he will make the report of the conference available to Members of the House.

Mr. Isaacs

This meeting, which was convened by the International Labour Office, was attended by the Chief Inspector of Mines, and was of a preliminary character. In the circumstances, it is not proposed that the report should be made generally available. In the light of the discussions which took place, the International Labour Office will prepare documents for submission to a full technical conference at which representatives of Governments, employers and workers will be present.

Mr. Brown

When the subsequent conference takes place, will my right hon. Friend see that we have a report of that conference to which he referred in his answer?

Mr. Isaacs

It is the regular practice. This is the preliminary conference, and it will be followed by a tripartite conference at the end of this year at which employers, Governments and workers will be represented, and then the draft recommendations will be circulated to the Governments. I think at that point, or at the subsequent point when the report is discussed, it will be circulated.

Colonel Clarke

In view of the fact that this information is very relevant to the consideration of Part II of the Coal Industry Bill at present in Committee, could the right hon. Gentleman make at any rate some part of it available in the very near future?

Mr. Isaacs

It will be made available as soon as the actual report is received. This was a meeting of officials to lay down the kind of information to be sought in order to form the basis of discussion, but, most certainly, it will be published as soon as it is ready.