HC Deb 28 June 1951 vol 489 cc1561-3
24. Mr. J. R. Bevins

asked the Minister of Labour whether His Majesty's Government accept the findings of the Leggett Committee on unofficial dock strikes.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Robens)

As I informed the hon. Member on 5th June, this is under discussion with representatives of the industry, and I must conclude these discussions before reaching a decision.

Mr. Bevins

As the right hon. Gentleman seems to be so reluctant to commit His Majesty's Government one way or the other on this Report, will he give an assurance to the House that he will make an interim statement on the progress of the negotiations before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

Mr. Robens

I am perfectly certain that neither the hon. Member nor the House will expect me to arrive at a decision before I have had an opportunity of considering the views of the organisations primarily concerned.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Now that the restrictive practices in the dock industry so often denied to exist are now openly acknowledged in this Report, will the right hon. Gentleman consider publishing a full list of these practices to facilitate discussion with both sides of the industry, with a view to seeing that they are removed?

Mr. Robens

It is not necessary for me to produce a list of restrictive practices to facilitate discussion. There is good will all round, and I want to maintain it.

Mr. Osborne

Does the Minister intend To carry out the disciplinary measures recommended in the Report against the minority of men causing trouble in the docks? If so, can he take action quickly, so that further trouble will not occur?

Mr. Robens

I shall make a statement to the House as soon as I have concluded all the discussions.

25. Mr. Bevins

asked the Minister of Labour whether arising out of the Leggett Report he is conferring with interested parties on Merseyside.

Mr. Robens

Though this Report deals only with London, some of its recommendations may affect other ports. My consultations are accordingly with the National bodies which cover the whole country, including Merseyside.

Mr. McCorquodale

In view of the great interest in this matter, which has been stimulated by this sincere and admirable Report, will the right hon. Gentleman expedite his inquiries so that the House may have an early opportunity of discussing it?

Mr. Robens

I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate from the actions I have already taken that I am always anxious to expedite these matters, but what we want is a satisfactory conclusion, and I am sure that if he leaves it with me it will turn out all right.

Mr. Keenan

Will my right hon. Friend see that all the ports who have an interest in the matter are consulted. so that if there is a change all those interested in it can put forward their points of view?

Mr. Robens

That is why, although this is a London Report, I am asking national bodies to discuss it.

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