HC Deb 18 December 1952 vol 509 cc1615-6
31. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Labour if he will intervene in the industrial dispute which has arisen as a result of the transfer of ownership of the "Daily Graphic" newspaper.

Sir W. Monckton

According to my information there is no industrial dispute arising from the transfer of ownership of the "Daily Graphic."

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

While any dispute there has been avoided, thanks to the restraint of the staff, which has justifiably expressed anger and distress in other ways, is the Minister aware that only two or three days before the transfer took place Lord Kemsley gave a written assurance to the trade union representatives concerned that there was no substance whatsoever in stories that the transfer was about to take place? Does the Minister think it is really conducive to good industrial relations that men should be treated as chattels in this way, with such a contemptuous regard of the need for joint consultation? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman say something about the need for a better standard of behaviour in future on the part of this employer and other employers?

Sir W. Monekton

I have already told the House that no dispute in this case has come to me at all, and my information—and I am not surprised to have it—is that the trade unions most concerned have expressed their willingness to cooperate with those who are making the change in the making of it.

Sir H. Williams

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, your predecessor frequently ruled that hon. Members are responsible for the accuracy of the statements they make in their Questions. This Question alleges that there is an "industrial dispute." The hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) has said that there is no dispute. What penalty is imposed upon an hon. Member who makes an inaccurate statement?

Mr. Speaker

The answer is, "None."

Mr. Isaacs

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that there is, in fact, no dispute between the unions and the firms concerned? Does he not agree that people should not interfere in these internal difficulties?

Sir W. Monckton

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman.