HC Deb 28 November 1950 vol 481 cc923-5
16. Mr. Braine

asked the Minister of Labour what percentage of all industrial disputes since 1945 have taken place in the nationalised industries.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

As all the industries concerned were not nationalised on the same date, the information asked for by the hon. Member is not readily available and could only be obtained by a disproportionate expenditure of time which would not be justified.

Mr. Braine

How does the right hon. Gentleman reconcile this answer and the answer which he gave to a supplementary question of mine on 14th November with the facts revealed in the Ministry of Labour Gazette that in the current year more than 55 per cent. of all the days lost have occurred in the nationalised industries, which employ nearly a quarter of the labour force?

Mr. Isaacs

There is nothing inconsistent about it. I was asked to give an answer about what has happened since 1945, but of the nationalised industries two were nationalised in 1946, two in 1947, three in 1948, and one in 1949, and therefore I cannot cover the whole period for all of them.

Captain Crookshank

Of course the right hon. Gentleman can. I never heard anything so silly.

25. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Minister of Labour the number of days lost through industrial disputes in 1949, giving the percentages for nationalised industries and private industries, respectively.

Mr. Isaacs

The aggregate number of working days lost in 1949 in stoppages of work arising from industrial disputes was about 1,807,000. About 46 per cent. of this total was lost in stoppages in industries which have been nationalised since 1945 and about 54 per cent. in other industries.

Mr. Shepherd

In view of the disparity between the numbers employed in nationalised and private industries, is it not perfectly clear that there is much more social dissatisfaction in nationalised industries than in others?

27. Mr. Tom Brown

asked the Minister of Labour the number of days lost and the average time lost per man per year arising from industrial disputes in the coalmining industry for the five years 1935 to 1939 and 1945 to 1949.

Mr. Isaacs

For the five years 1935 to 1939 the number of days lost by industrial disputes in the coalmining industry was a yearly average of 996,000 days. For the five years 1945 to 1949 the yearly average was 639,000 days. The average number of days lost per wage-earner per year was about 1¼ days in 1935–39, and slightly less than one day in 1945–49.

Mr. Brown

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the answer he has given will give the lie direct to the statements made recently that there have been more disputes, and more time lost in the nationalised coal industry than before the coal industry was nationalised?