HC Deb 22 February 1951 vol 484 cc1463-4
Mr. Churchill

I have a Question, of which I have given him private notice, to ask the Minister of Labour whether he has any statement to make on the railway situation. I assure him that if it is inconvenient to make a statement at the present moment, we will gladly wait until tomorrow morning.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)

I regret to state that the negotiations between the Railway Executive and the railway trade unions have not proved successful in reaching a settlement. I am gratified to find, however, that both sides are most appreciative of the amicable spirit that has animated these discussions. At the request of the trade unions, I had an interview with them this morning when they reported the position. I have also had a talk with the Railway Executive, but I am not yet in a position to report the result of these discussions.

Mr. J. Hynd

Can the Minister explain to the House why the railwaymen should be expected to bear the economic burden of running the railways any more than the employees of the air corporations are expected to carry the subsidies on those corporations?

Mr. Bevan

I think that my hon. Friend, when he hears the ultimate outcome of the discussions, will find that we have not lost sight of that factor.