HC Deb 08 February 1951 vol 483 cc1913-4
16. Mr. Hollis

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a statement concerning the labour troubles in connection with the work for the Festival of Britain.

Mr. Bevan

I assume the hon. Member is referring to a strike of some electricians employed on the South Bank site. The dispute arises from a claim for extra payment to take account of the special circumstances of the work in connection with the Festival. This claim was under discussion between the employers' organisation and the trade union. My officers are in close touch with the parties and I would ask to be excused for the moment from making any further statement.

18. Mr. J. R. Bevins

asked the Minister of Labour if his attention has been drawn to the strike of dockers on Mersey- side organised by the port workers committee; if he will cause an immediate investigation to be made into the cause of the stoppage; and if, in the meanwhile, he will make a statement.

Mr. Bevan

The position on Merseyside and at Manchester shows some improvement this morning and it is clear that the very extensive efforts to involve other ports have completely failed. It is not my present intention to institute any special investigation.

Mr. Bevins

While the whole House will be glad of the improvement that has taken place, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he realises that the 9,000 dockers of Merseyside have been grossly deceived by the port workers committee which is a Communist inspired organisation? Will he ask his right hon Friend the Home Secretary to publish the information in his possession about that organisation?

Mr. Bevan

It is because the London dock men were grossly deceived in 1949 that the same deceivers are finding it so difficult to get them out today. I hope that the same illumination will dawn upon Merseyside.

Mr. Oakshott

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that there is no interference now in Merseyside with central food supplies as a result of this stoppage?

Mr. Bevan

I understand that that is the position put up to date. We hope that the strike will be over soon.