HC Deb 28 April 1950 vol 474 cc1328-9

Motion made, and Question proposed, " That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Sparks.]

2.11 p.m.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

I desire to inform the House as follows. The London Docks Divisional Committee of the Transport and General Workers' Union, representative of all docker membership of the union in London, have decided today to endorse the decision taken at the official meetings held today that there should be an immediate and orderly resumption of work. The men are being advised to present themselves for work tomorrow morning, and the union have requested the Minister of Labour to arrange that the troops are held back to facilitate a resumption. Arrangements are being made accordingly.

Earl Winterton (Horsham)

I am sure the whole House will have heard with great satisfaction the announcement which the right hon. Gentleman has just made. I only want to say one thing. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) said, we of course must reserve to ourselves the right to raise at some future time the whole question of the position in the docks. All I want to say now, on behalf of myself and my hon. and right hon. Friends, is that we are glad to hear the news.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

(Ayrshire, South): Will the Minister clear up one point? If the three men who have been expelled from the union present themselves for work, will they be allowed to work without any victimisation of any kind?

Mr. Isaacs

I answered that question fully and definitely yesterday. Before resuming my seat, in case there is not another opportunity, I should like to express on behalf of the House, and I think of the country, our appreciation and thanks to the troops who have worked so excellently in this matter.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

(Brixton): I should like to put his point although I do not expect my right hon. Friend will be able to answer it here and now. When an orderly resumption of work takes place and things go back to normal, will consideration be given, if any request is put forward through recognised channels, for some inquiry into the general state of affairs at the docks, with a view of removing any legitimate grievances that may possibly exist?

Mr. Isaacs

I can say that, in fact, that is being done at the moment.

Earl Winterton

May I have permission to intervene once again to say, on behalf of my hon. and right hon. Friends, that I should like to associate myself with the thanks given by the Minister to the troops?

Mr. Sparks

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.