HC Deb 29 July 1952 vol 504 cc1238-9
5. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the civilian storekeepers of the War Department, Singapore, have been waiting over two years to have their claims considered by his Department; that reminders were sent to him on 12th October, 1951, 13th May, 1952, and a third one last week to the Command Secretary, General. Headquarters, Singapore, that this protracted delay is causing a feeling of frustration among the workers; and what action he is taking to deal with this long standing problem.

Mr. Head

Discussions and negotiations to settle this matter have been going on between all three Services and the trade unions concerned. The matter is not, therefore, solely in my hands, but I am trying to hurry it up.

Mr. Awbery

is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I received a communication from the union concerned a few days ago telling me that they presented him with a memorandum two years ago, and three reminders, and that 14 days ago negotiations had not been started? Will he do all he possibly can to hurry the negotiations, because this delay creates an amount of frustration that is difficult to handle in a place like that?

Mr. Head

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the negotiations were started a great deal longer than a fortnight ago. As I understand it, a great deal of the discussion is concerned with when a civilian storekeeper is not a civilian storekeeper. I can assure the hon. Gentleman I am trying to hurry it up.