HC Deb 20 February 1951 vol 484 cc1070-1
Mr. Churchill

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any statement to make on the railway situation.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)

Yes, Sir. The Report of the Court of Inquiry has been sent to the parties and discussions between the Railway Executive and the three unions are now in progress. I would ask to be excused from making any further statement at this stage.

Mr. McCorquodale

Would the right hon. Gentleman emphasise what I believe will be the view of the whole House, that while these negotiations are in progress nothing should be done by way of strikes or working to rule which will, on the one hand, hamper these negotiations and, on the other, injure the national interest?

Mr. Bevan

As the House is probably aware, last Friday I had conferences with the two parties and I made the statement, which I am quite sure all Members of the House will approve, that whilst these discussions are in progress they ought not to be prejudiced in any way by any action taken outside.

Mr. John Hynd

Will the Minister represent to his colleagues in the Government that it is high time there was a complete review of the relationship in the nationalised industries to prevent such impossible situations arising?

Mr. Bevan

We are hoping, as a consequence of these discussions and of the agreement which we all hope will emerge from the discussions, that a sweeter relationship will exist between all parties in industry.

Mr. J. Langford-Holt

Can the Minister say when he expects the position will have clarified sufficiently for him to be able to make a statement?

Mr. Bevan

I should not like to anticipate that at this moment.