HC Deb 27 April 1950 vol 474 cc1141-2
Mr. Eden

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any further statement to make on the strike position in the London Docks.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

There is little material change to report. The number of men not working this morning was 14,393.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Is the right hon. Gentleman now prepared to state whether his advice is that it is a legal or an illegal strike?

Mr. Isaacs

I want to be quite frank with the House, and I ask them to forgive me if I say that it would not be wise for me to answer that question at this moment.

Mr. Henry Strauss

Will the right hon. Gentleman now answer the question that he was unable to answer on Tuesday? Has the expulsion of the three men from the union ended their employment at the docks?

Mr. Isaacs

I am sorry that I was not able to give a definite answer the other day. I have made inquiries, and expulsion from the union makes no difference at all to their right of employment. There is nothing in the scheme to prevent their re-employment.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Can my right hon. Friend conceivably be right about that? Is he really saying that employment in the docks is possible nowadays for labourers who are not members of the appropriate trade union?

Mr. Isaacs

The answer I have given is given upon proper inquiries of all parties concerned, and it is quite conceivable that I am right.